DHAKA – Five people were arrested from Bangladesh capital on Friday for allegedly spreading rumors over coronavirus as authorities have taken precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the dangerous virus in the country.
“We have detained five people for spreading rumors over coronavirus and are interrogating them now. They spread a rumor from different Facebook IDs and news portals that two people died of coronavirus here,” AFM Al-Kibria, deputy commissioner of police, told EFE.
“They claimed they did not do it with any ill motive. We were scrutinizing. We have identified a few more IDs and are now trying to identify (the people) behind these IDs. We want to give a message so that no one can spread any rumor over coronavirus and create panic,” said Al-Kibria of the Cyber Security and Crime Department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
Bangladesh’s health department said so far no one had tested positive for coronavirus strain in the densely populated South Asian country.
“We tested samples from 62 people in different hospitals who recently visited China but none tested positive,” Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research, told EFE.
Bangladesh evacuated 312 of its citizens from China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, on Feb. 1 and quarantined them at two places in Dhaka.
Flora said they were all fine and would be released soon.
“We have 301 people quarantined in Dhaka Haiji Camp and 11 children in CMH (Combined Military Hospital). Their quarantine period will end on Saturday evening. Then after a few formalities, they will be free to leave the facilities,” she said.
The health department earlier at a press conference in Dhaka on Thursday confirmed that at least two Bangladeshis had tested positive for coronavirus in Singapore but said their condition remained stable.
It said that a total of 133,206 incoming passengers were screened from Jan.21 to Feb.13 at three international airports and other land and seaports of the country.
Changes in the way coronavirus patients are diagnosed in China have seen the number of infections shoot up by 15,000 while officials also reported 254 deaths in 24 hours on Thursday, the largest one-day increase since the outbreak began last month.
The numbers were concentrated in the province of Hubei, the epicenter of COVID-19, where 242 people died and 14,840 were confirmed to be infected with the virus.