Bangladesh’s coronavirus situation is especially murky. The country, home to more than 160 million people, has reported around 200,000 cases. But with the virus sweeping through South Asia, and with testing relatively low in Bangladesh, health experts believe the country has a much higher infection rate than the official numbers indicate.
Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, has ordered the suspension of all flights coming in from Bangladesh after at least 37 Bangladeshi passengers arrived in Rome and tested positive for Covid-19, according to Agence France-Presse. Last week, Italy sent back 168 Bangladeshis who had arrived at airports in Rome and Milan, Italy’s health ministry confirmed.
Even before the testing scam was exposed, Bangladeshi law enforcement officials said that Mr. Shahed had been investigated in more than 30 other criminal cases connected to corruption, embezzlement and running fraudulent companies. He has served two years in prison, the authorities said.
“He is a known criminal,” said Faizul Islam, a member of Bangladesh’s elite police unit, the Rapid Action Battalion. And, Mr. Islam added, “we are acting against others.”
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 16, 2020
Is the coronavirus airborne?
The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
What’s the best material for a mask?
Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?
A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.
What is pandemic paid leave?
The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.
Bangladesh’s foreign ministry released a statement on Thursday saying that “around 1,600 Bangladeshis who went to Italy recently did not carry fake Covid-19 negative certificates.” But the statement added, “some Bangladeshis who traveled to Italy in the recent days did not follow the mandatory quarantine rule, and probably a few of them might have spread the virus in the community.”
Fiorenza Aini, a spokeswoman in the press office of Italy’s justice ministry, said that she was not aware of any current joint investigation between Italy and Bangladesh.
Giuseppe Mazzara, a spokesman from the Lazio region, which includes Rome, said that more than 6,000 coronavirus swab tests had been carried out on people who traveled to Italy from Bangladesh in the month of June, as well as people they came into contact with. So far, 191 had tested positive, he said.