The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) has asked print and electronic media in Bangladesh not to publish news that could affect bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Italy without due diligence.
The MoFA said that the fact was that the Italian Prime Minister never mentioned the word “virus bomb” which indicated any community during an interview with Spanish TV Channels.
The news was published in several newspapers in Bangladesh “quoting incorrectly” the President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) of the Republic of Italy.
The newspapers have misquoted Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy, who said that Bangladeshis were “virus bombs”.
The Foreign Ministry stressed that the Italian Prime Minister had never said such a thing about Bangladeshis.
When running any news that might have a negative impact on bilateral relations, including the Bangladeshi expatriate community, the media is urged to check the authenticity of the news.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also requested print and electronic media to create awareness among Bangladeshi diaspora throughout the world, including passengers departing from Bangladesh, for their sympathetic understanding of the local situation, and for compliance with local government regulations and regulations.
When covering the news about COVID-19, several Italian newspapers carried COVID-19 among members of the Bangladesh expatriate community in Italy.
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The attitude of defiance by some members of the Bangladesh community in Italy has been described in Italian newspapers, and this can create distrust or dissatisfaction among the Italian population towards Bangladeshis in Italy. One newspaper even published the news under the title ‘virus bomb’ Bangladesh.
Speaking with Spanish TV channels during his recent visit to Madrid, Prime Minister Conte mentioned that in recent flights from Bangladesh there were up to 20 percent of passengers on a flight that tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving at Rome airport.
To ensure Italy does not go through COVID-19’s difficult situation again, Prime Minister Conte said Italy was forced to stop flights from Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is not the only country on the list. Italy has stopped flights from 12 other countries in the world, and its decision will be reviewed on July 14, 2020.
Longstanding relations between Bangladesh and Italy are based on mutual trust and respect, the MoFA said.
At the invitation of the Italian Prime Minister, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid a bilateral visit to Italy in February this year, and the two Prime Ministers held an official bilateral meeting that was very productive and fruitful.
More than 150,000 Bangladeshis live in Italy, and their contribution to the economy of Bangladesh and Italy is also recognized.
“It should be noted that while many countries in the world have followed anti-immigrant practices, including sending returning migrant workers who were fired to their home countries, the Italian government, as part of their economic revival plans, has decided to regulate many immigrants with irregular status, “said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Italian government has shown extraordinary flexibility and generosity to receive Bangladeshis with Italian residence permits even when Bangladesh has not fully recovered from the COVID-19 virus.
In the past month, Biman Bangladesh Airlines operated six special charter flights to Rome, where around 1,600 Bangladeshis with Italian residence permits (or in some cases, with Italian passports) traveled.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged with deep appreciation for the support given by the Italian Embassy in Dhaka in this regard.
Italian diplomats based in Dhaka are trying to help Bangladeshis with Italian residence permits to travel to and arrive in Rome without hassles.
Unfortunately, MoFA said, after arriving at Rome airport, when incoming passengers were tested for COVID-19, around 70-75 Bangladeshis tested positive.
In addition, the Italian Ministry of Health, when testing members of the Bangladesh community in and around Rome, found 20-25 other people were infected with Coronavirus.
The Italian government has taken all steps to provide the necessary support to around 100 Bangladeshis. Most of them have been kept in a hotel during the isolation period at the expense of the Italian government, and those who need hospitalization have been hospitalized, again regulated by the Italian government.
Unfortunately, said MoFA, some members of the Bangladesh community in Italy who tested positive for COVID-19 did not respect the Italian government’s decision, and ignored the quarantine and isolation guidelines and instructions from the Italian government.
They oppose the restrictions of the Italian government and thus place the whole community at risk of viral infection.
A group of Bangladeshis who returned to Bangladesh from Italy in March also behaved in a similar manner and refused to take responsibility and refused to follow quarantine procedures under various pretexts and now they are also violating Italian quarantine procedures which cause uneasy feelings among community members.
The attitude of defiance by some members of the Bangladesh community in Italy has been described in Italian newspapers, and this can create distrust or dissatisfaction among the Italian population with Bangladeshis in Italy, MoFA added.