B'deshi man swims to India to seek COVID-19 treatment

Bangladeshi man swims his way to India to seek coronavirus treatment

Representative image. (Credit: AFP Photo)

Fear gripped several villages along India-Bangladesh border in South Assam's Karimganj district after a Bangladesh national swam across a river that divides the two countries on Sunday morning and sought treatment for COVID-19 from Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel. 

The man, identified as Abdul Haque, aged about 35 years had crossed the Kushiara river at around 7 am at Mubarakpur in Karimganj but the BSF personnel stopped him on the river bank on the India side after being alerted by local villagers.

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"He looked ill and weak. He was muttering in a low voice that he was infected by the coronavirus and crossed the river for treatment. We did not allow him to get out of the river bank and got in touch with Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB). A team of BGB came in two boats and took him back at around 9 am," BSF deputy inspector general and spokesperson, J C Nayak told DH over the phone from Silchar, about 50-km east of Karimganj. 

"Villagers on the Indian side who gathered there, were a little scared as he uttered coronavirus. But all are alert as we had already carried out awareness drive in the area regarding coronavirus," he said.

Silchar and Karimganj in South Assam shares about the 135 km border with Bangladesh of which nearly 4 km are riverine border and has remained unfenced due to objections from the neighbouring country. Assam shares 262 km of total 4,156 km borders with Bangladesh. The unfenced stretches like this are often used by cross border smugglers and illegal infiltrators.

The man hailed from Jorabazar area in Sunamjang district in Bangladesh, Nayak said.