Why 240 migrants coming from South Africa escaped unscanned

A total of 240 people, who returned to Bangladesh from South Africa at different phases last month, have gone underground without following mandatory health rules, and escaping 14-day institutional quarantine at government designated places. Police and other agencies have failed to trace them despite more than a week-long massive search. Now the local administration has hoisted red flags on their houses in a bid to caution their neighbours to keep a distance from their families. In a latest announcement, the Health Minister on Thursday said all of them were still untraced as their cell phones have been found abandoned.
The Health Ministry has done so many funny jobs in recent times, especially on Covid-19. This newest development exposed how the Health Ministry and its relevant departments work. The 240 absconding migrants did not come to Bangladesh in a single flight and also not on the same day. They came during the previous 2/3 months and entered the country enjoying the relaxed mood of health and other government officials stationed at the airport. They went to their homes and started living with their family members as usual like others. But when the news of new Covid-19 variety ‘Omicron’ broke and it was confirmed that the variant’s land of origin was South Africa, our Health Ministry rose from deep hibernation. The ministry issued red alert over the expatriates and ordered the law enforcement agencies to capture them at any cost.
From this particular move, one can easily understand what sort of anti-Covid measures are actually available at the field level to protect the people from the deadly virus. There are widespread allegations that the surveillance and protective methods at airports for international passengers are not enough at all. Many can cross the barrier and even meet the family members waiting outside the tamarack without any obstacle. We are surprised that the Health Ministry and its relevant departments are feeling so relaxed. Otherwise, how did the 240 migrants avail such an opportunity? It can be inferred that more people entered the country during the aforesaid period enjoying the same relaxed scanning. The South African returnees are now under scanner because of the Omicron variant. Otherwise, they could live with their families happily without needing to abandon their cell phones.

block