3 sailors kept in ‘isolation’ in Mongla for coronavirus screening

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Mongla, Mar 05: Three sailors of a ship that reached the Mongla port have been taken into the isolation ward for having body temperature more than the normal range amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus.The authorities have stopped the offloading of goods from the Serenitas N, a bulk carrier sailing under the flag of the Marshal Islands, said Mongla Port’s harbour master Fakharuddin Ahmed.

The Serenitas N sailed from the Lianyungang port in China to the Mongla port via Chattogram port carrying 24,000 tonnes of coal on Wednesday.

A five-member medical team of the port entered the ship for medical check-ups of the sailors, said Samir Asif, a physician in the port hospital. Of the 20 sailors, three Filipinos were found with body temperature crossing the normal range. They were taken into the isolation ward for further medical screening.

Though the sailors have high body temperature, they did not show other symptoms common to coronavirus patients, Asif told bdnews24.com.

The port authority banned the other sailors from getting off the ship, said Fakharuddin.

In Bangladesh, the infection cases can be tested only in the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research or IEDCR.

“We have been contacting the authority since last night. But the ship is docked quite far away from the port. It is hard to reach there. That’s why it is taking some time. We’ll disseminate the information the moment we receive it,” IEDCR Director Meerjady Sabrina Flora said on Thursday.

The Mongla port took precautionary measures following the global outbreak of the coronavirus. The virus has killed at least 3,283 people worldwide, mostly in China, where the epidemic originated in December.