Policemen and army personnel stop a motorist at checkpoint along a road during a government imposed shutdown as a preventative measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Narayanganj on the outskirts of Dhaka on April 8, 2020. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
“For days on end, we have been subsisting either on bread and jam or just biscuits,” says medical student Rija Hameed.
He is a representative of over 300 Pakistani students stranded in Bangladesh due to COVID-19 outbreak.
They are studying in Bangladesh under the SAARC quota scholarship programme.
“Earlier, I was residing in a hostel in Rajshahi and after my fellow students from India, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka were evacuated by their respective countries, I was shifted to a hostel in Dhaka,” said Rija.
Most male and female students said limited access to food amid a lockdown in the country coupled with Bangladesh’s fragile healthcare system was making them nervous.
Bangladesh has reported 218 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 20 deaths, so far.
Reports say that the prime minister’s Public Affairs and Grievances Wing has forwarded to the foreign secretary an application of the father of a Pakistani student in Bangladesh seeking early action in order to evacuate them as soon as possible.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that she could do so once she gets a report on the situation from the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka.
The coronavirus cases in Pakistan have reached 4,317 with 63 deaths as on Thursday (9).