Publish: 08 Feb 2020, 10:24 pm
Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen said that it is not possible right now to bring back Bangladeshi citizens stuck in China's Wuhan city, the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak since the Chinese authorities do not allow any international flight there.
"The government wanted to take back the Bangladeshis from Wuhan via a chartered flight after they demonstrated their desire to return home. But now, the Chinese authorities are not accepting chartered flights," he said.
While on Saturday speaking with reporters on the sidelines of a function at the city's Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, the minister also said China does not want this virus to spread as it is very sensitive.
At present, around 171 Bangladeshi nationals are staying in Wuhan and they expressed their willingness to return home, he said, adding that the government also wants to bring them back.
Momen, however, said if the Bangladeshi nationals can manage any chartered flight to return home, the government will bear the cost.
He also dismissed the allegation that the stranded Bangladeshis are facing a food crisis, saying the Chinese authorities, led by a deputy leader of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, are taking care of them.
The minister said Bangladeshi pilots are also not willing to travel to Wuhan as other countries are not allowing their entry to those with their flights after their return from the Chinese city.
Earlier, about 312 Bangladeshi nationals were brought back home from Wuhan on a special flight by spending some $130,000, he said.
All the returnees have been kept at the quarantine center for 14 days although no-one of them was found to have infected with coronavirus, Momen said.
But after their return, the crewmembers are facing troubles as no country is willing to receive them as pilots to operate their flights, he added.
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