Italy searches for 600 potential coronavirus cases from BangladeshChristian Fernsby ▼ | July 9, 2020
There could be as many as 600 "undetected" Bangladesh citizens infected with covid-19 circulating in Rome and around Italy, the Lazio Region health councillor Alessio D'Amato told Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero.
Italy Lazio region
Topics: italy coronavirus bangladesh
"The result is very worrying: taking into account all the flights including those with a stopover that brought Bangladesh migrants back to Italy, there are 500-600 positive cases that have not been intercepted, going around Rome and other regions," D'Amato told Il Messaggero.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that D'Amato's estimate was backed up by Italy's deputy health minister Pierpaolo Sileri who told Radio 24: "The number of possible positives from Bangladesh is around 600, work is underway to trace these people to allow us to make epidemiological links and test everyone."
D'Amato says the region is "ready" to test all incoming passengers from countries with high rates of coronavirus but stressed that the decision must come from central government, also taking into account the repercussions on air traffic.
Il Messaggero also reports that in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka it is possible to purchase bogus health certificates for as little as €36, allowing citizens to leave the country despite being potentially infected.
This was confirmed to Il Messaggero by Mohammed Taifur Rahman Shah, president of the Ital-Bangla association which has been helping newly-arrived Bangladesh citizens in Italy for many years.
On 7 July Italy ordered the temporary suspension of flights from Bangladesh, due to the "significant number" of passengers infected on the 6 July flight, and the Lazio Region is currently undertaking "blanket testing" for covid-19 among the local Bangladesh community.
Italian news agency Adnkronos reports that after a slow start on Monday, 300 Bangladesh citizens presented themselves for the voluntary tests. ■