Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh suspends visa on arrival for China

Chinese citizens in Bangladesh asked not to leave country for at least one month, foreign minister says

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 02.02.2020
Bangladesh suspends visa on arrival for China

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Sunday suspended the visa on arrival for Chinese citizens for an indefinite period amid coronavirus outbreak, the country's foreign minister said.

The announcement by Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen came during a news conference in the capital Dhaka.

The Chinese citizens working in Bangladesh have also been instructed not to leave the country for at least one month, Momen told reporters.

“Last night [Saturday] we held an emergency meeting and took the decision of not issuing any on-arrival visa for Chinese citizens until the risk of coronavirus turns to normal,” he said.

The Chinese citizens who wish to visit Bangladesh should apply for visa at the country's embassy in Beijing with detailed medical reports, he stressed, adding: “If embassy grants his/her visit with due scrutiny, only then they will be allowed to come to Bangladesh.”

Momen also said: “On the basis of friendly relations and bilateral trade, we have been issuing on-arrival visa for Chinese citizens for long. But the situation is now different.”

Bangladesh also informed the Chinese government about the instruction and that no new workers from China will be allowed in Mega projects in Bangladesh, where so many Chinese citizens are already working now.

Currently, more than 1 million Chinese citizens are working in Bangladesh, according to government sources.

On Saturday, 316 Bangladeshi expatriates working in China arrived in Bangladesh and eight of them have been hospitalized with suspected symptoms of coronavirus.

The coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, has killed at least 304 people in China, with nearly 14,380 infected. More than 137,600 people are under medical observation.

According to the World Health Organization's local office on Sunday, a 44-year-old man who reportedly died of the coronavirus in the Philippines on Saturday became the first confirmed death outside China. The patient was a Chinese from the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province, where the virus was first detected.

Since its outbreak late last year, China has put the city of Wuhan under lockdown in a bid to contain the virus and is building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat those affected.

Beyond China, the virus has spread to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Vietnam and Canada, and most recently to the Philippines with the confirmed death on Sunday.

Travelers from China are being screened for the virus at airports worldwide. Several airlines have suspended flights to Wuhan.

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