The outbreak of coronavirus in China has set the alarm bell ringing all across the world. As the world's second largest economy, that country's commercial and business interests are linked to the majority of the global communities, if not all countries. Travel on business and other purposes to and from China has been extensive. And there lies the danger. With no therapeutic redress to the pneumonia-like illness, it threatens to stalk more areas not only in China but other countries as well because of the highly contagious nature of the disease. For quite sometime, scientists and medical researchers have become highly concerned about ineffectiveness of antibiotic against communicable diseases. Germs or viruses have been developing newer strains to render antibiotic useless. No wonder that some viruses spread in an epidemic form in some places or in several places simultaneously against which human beings and/or livestock have no immunity. Coronavirus has so far proved to be one such killer. Its spread is fast and death toll also increasing alarmingly.
By January 28 last the virus was detected in 14 countries. In China, the number of sick doubled within a day. Naturally, the lockdown effected in China has affected lives of both the Chinese and foreign nationals. Governments are busy evacuating their people out of China. Although President Xi Jinping has expressed his optimism to defeat the devil virus, he has not elaborated how his government will do so. Given the outbreak of unfamiliar viruses in one corner or another on this planet, it is surely incumbent on the governments to place their research facilities at the disposal of collaborative initiative for fighting such deadly viruses together.
As for Bangladesh it has found in China a trusted friend in its development work involving some mega projects. Also businesses between the two countries are on a higher trajectory. Then there are a large number of students studying in that country. Overall, the streams of people visiting each other's country are gaining momentum. Thousands of people from Bangladesh have gone to China over the past fortnight and hundreds are arriving here. Chinese nationals working under several projects including the mega projects like Padma bridge, Padma rail link, Payra thermal power plant and Karnaphuli-river tunnel have also gone home to celebrate their (Chinese) new year. If the virus continues to stalk ever more areas other than the epicentre Uhan, works at these project sites seem set to be hampered.
However in the interest of checking the spread of the disease utmost precautions will have to be taken all around. In the interest of both the host country and the guests, such measures can stop the spread of the virus that is communicable from one person to another. The government here has been aware of the need for a mounting alert so long as the malady does not taper off. Needless to say, the people have to be kept informed of the do's and don'ts and vigil maintained at the community and local government levels over compliance in order to keep them safe from the affliction which has yet to have an antidote. Those coming from China are getting screened but since the virus's incubation period is 14 days, it is better to quarantine those who arrive from there and put under medical observation for two weeks. In short, as the nation keeps itself posted with all developments pertaining to spread and containment of the virus, it's imperative to have the antenna raised in order to follow the WHO's instructions as soon as those are crystallised, formulated and released.
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