The government has cancelled leaves of all concerned officers and employees of the health sector while Tongi Ijtema ground will be readied to beef up the quarantine facilitates due to outbreak of the coronavirus.
"All concerned physicians, nurses, officers and employees will not get their leaves until issuance of further directive," Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque told a press conference on what to do to prevent coronavirus outbreak at the ministry’s meeting room in the capital Thursday.
Asked the returnees' not following quarantine rules, Maleque said measures are being taken to prepare Ijtema ground to strengthen quarantine facilities under supervision of Bangladesh Army.
He said so far 17 cases of COVID-19 have been detected and all of them are returnees from different countries and their relatives.
If any other expatriate does not come home now, it will be easier to contain the deadly virus, he said.
Maleque said the COVID-19 is highly contagious, so no public gathering would be allowed in the country now.
"Wedding ceremony would have to be kept stopped. Schools and colleges have already been shut down," he said.
The minister urged the Muslim devotees to say their Juma prayers at home following the example of Saudi Arabia.
Health Services Division Secretary Md Asadul Islam, Additional Secretaries Md Habibur Rahman Khan and Md Sirajul Islam were present on the occasion.