With 56 killed and nearly 2,000 infected by the new coronavirus in China, Bangladesh is considering toimpose a temporary travel to and from the country.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Sunday (Jan 26) that amid the outbreak of the virus and cases confirmed outside China, Bangladesh is mulling measures over the matter.
His remarks came during an emergency meeting, the health ministry said in a statement.
The proposed ban would be discussed at an inter-ministerial meeting scheduled for Tuesday (Jan 28), it quoted the minister saying.
"Many Bangladeshis travel to China for business purposes and it would be disastrous if the virus spreads to Bangladesh. The proposed temporary travel ban would be discussed with priority at the inter-ministerial meeting," Maleque said.
China said on Sunday that the ability of the new coronavirus to spread is strengthening and infections could continue to rise, reports Reuters.
A handful of cases have been reported outside China, including in Thailand, Australia, the United States and France.
The newly-identified coronavirus has created alarm because there are still many unknowns surrounding it, such as how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people. It can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases.
China's National Health Commission said the incubation period for the virus can range from one to 14 days, and the virus is infectious during incubation, which was not the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
SARS was a coronavirus that originated in China and killed nearly 800 people globally in 2002 and 2003.
The new coronavirus, believed to have originated late last year in a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife, has spread to cities including Beijing and Shanghai.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a politburo meeting on Saturday that China was facing a "grave situation".