Chinese-run projects in Bangladesh to be implemented

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Peter Jaegeul Song,
Staff Reporter at Asia N

Dhaka: Bangladeshi and Chinese officials announced last Sunday that the novel coronavirus outbreak will 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. Such a statement makes it certain that amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, the construction projects run by China will continue as usual.

There are currently twenty Chinese nationals working in a major coal-fired power plant project in the country’s southern coastal district of Patuakhali. They 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 in Bangladesh.

To stabilize the current crisis, Foreign Minister Momen once again 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 across Bangladesh.

Momen later added that 171 Bangladeshi citizens residing in China wanted to return to Bangladesh.

“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 base of the coronavirus outbreak. They were examined and found to be free of infection last Saturday after having been quarantined for a certain period.

As of Feb. 17, the Chinese government revealed that a total of 72,436 people are confirmed to have had the disease while 1,868 people have died so far. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

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