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250 more stranded Bangladeshis return from India through Benapole

Bangladesh closes all border with India for 14 days from Monday

Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 30 April: As many as 250 more Bangladeshis, who were stranded in India due to travel restrictions enforced in a bid to stop Indian coronavirus variants from entering the country, have returned to Bangladesh through Benapole land port in Jessore.

Benapole Immigration Officer-in-Charge (OC) Ahsan Habib said the Bangladeshis returned from India on Thursday after getting clearance from the deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh there.

With their arrival, a total of 689 Bangladeshis returned home until Thursday afternoon since the imposition of the 14-day ban on April 26, he said.

On the other hand, 109 people returned to India during the same period, he added.

All the Bangladeshi returnees are being put under institutional quarantine at seven residential hotels in Benapole.

So far, six of the returnees have been found positive for Covid-19.

Abu Taher, medical officer of the port’s immigration office, said the returnees are bearing their own expenses during their institutional quarantine at hotels.

Besides, the six Covid-19 patients have been admitted to the coronavirus unit at Jessore General Hospital, he said.

OC Ahsan Habib said since the enforcement of the travel ban, neither any Bangladeshi passport holders had gone to India and nor had any Indian citizens entered Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has sealed its land borders with India for two weeks effective from 6am on April 26 to 6pm on May 9 with a view to containing Covid-19 transmission from the neighbouring country. Trade through the borders will continue, however.

The second wave of Covid-19 is ripping through India, with lack of hospital beds, medical oxygen and adequate healthcare bringing the nation to its knees.

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