Amid novel coronavirus outbreak, envoy says construction projects run by China in Bangladesh will not be disrupted
Bangladeshi and Chinese officials announced on Sunday that the novel coronavirus outbreak would not disrupt Chinese-run infrastructure projects in the Southeast Asian country.
In a joint press briefing with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen in the capital Dhaka, Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming said most Chinese employees in Bangladesh had resumed work following a quarantine period.
Twenty Chinese nationals working in a major coal-fired power plant project in the country’s southern coastal district of Patuakhali have resumed work after a 14-day quarantine, according to local media reports.
“Of them, 18 joined yesterday [Saturday] and rest were set to join this morning,” citing power plant officials as saying local the Daily Star report said.
“They have been permitted to join work as no symptom of novel coronavirus infection was found in them,” said Dr. Chinmay Haldar, a local medical official.
A total of 2,700 Chinese nationals are currently working on the thermal power plant.
For his part, Momen said that no Chinese nationals in Bangladesh, nor Bangladeshi citizens in China have been infected by the virus so far.
According to government records, presently more than one million Chinese nationals are engaged in different works in Bangladesh.
Momen added that 171 Bangladeshi citizens wanted to return Bangladesh from China.
“But, it’s not possible at this moment. We advised them to keep patience,” he said.
Some 312 Bangladeshi nationals returned home two weeks ago from China’s province of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. They were found to be free of infection on Saturday after having been quarantined.
The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 1,666, the country’s National Health Commission said Sunday.
Authorities said 68,500 confirmed cases have been reported, while in the last 24 hours, 142 people have died and almost 2,009 new cases have been detected.
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.