Dhaka: Failure to arrange a flight has forced the Bangladesh government to scrap its plans to evacuate the remaining 171 nationals from China amid the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak, it was reported.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen revealed the decision to the media after an event in Dhaka on Saturday, reports bdnews24.
Earlier, Bangladesh evacuated 312 citizens and quarantined them in Dhaka on February 1.
“We’ve spent much for those who want to return now, but still it’s not possible,” Momen said, citing that the pilots of the special Wuhan flight have been denied entry to other countries.
Momen also said on Saturday that it would have been possible to evacuate the Bangladeshis if the government could manage a chartered Chinese plane.
“China had agreed once as well. But they refused later. It’s a sensitive matter. We can’t send any flight. No crew member agrees to go there either. So, we’ve told them [stranded Bangladeshis] to wait,” the Minister said.
Some of the Bangladesh nationals studying at the Three Gorges University in Yichang, some 285 m from Wuhan, told bdnews24.com that a total of 172 Bangladeshi students have been stranded there.
They complained of a shortage of food and drinking water due to the lockdown.
But Momen denied the allegations saying the Chinese authorities were sending food and water properly on time to the 23 places where the Bangladeshis stay.