By SM Najmus Sakib
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Several hundred Bangladeshi students are stranded in China amid a transportation lockdown in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Many of these students in Wuhan city, which is the epicenter of the virus, took to social media asking the Bangladeshi Embassy in China to get them out of the country.
Rakabil Turja, an engineering student at Hubei University of Technology, said on Facebook: “All communication, including buses and trains departing from this station have been shut [..] we cannot go back to our country even if we want to return to [..] we are all having a difficult time.”
Hasan Masrur Tanjil, a Beijing-based student representative of Bangladeshi students, told Anadolu Agency there is lack of support from the embassy.
Israt Zahan Liza, who is pursuing her doctorate at the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, said the embassy has contacted them via WeChat, a Chinese mobile messaging app.
"But Bangladeshi officials can do little until the local authorities ease the lockdown," she added.
Md Khairul Bashar, first secretary of the Bangladeshi Embassy in Beijing, asked students in a Facebook post to contact them via a hotline number. He added they were in direct communication with the Chinese authorities.
The virus with pneumonia-like symptoms has jostled Chinese authorities with 41 people dead since the first case was reported earlier this month. Hundreds of others have been infected.
Beyond China, the virus has spread to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France and Vietnam.
Travelers from China are being screened for the virus at airports worldwide. Many airlines have suspended flights to Wuhan city.
The World Health Organization held a meeting on Thursday where it postponed a decision on declaring the outbreak a health emergency saying it needed more information about the virus.