A middle-aged woman was reportedly asked to get off a Mohammadpur-bound BRTC bus, because she coughed while on board.
This incident took place earlier this morning in Dhaka, a day after IEDRC confirmed first three cases of coronavirus in the country.
The bus helper heard her coughing and started screaming, creating a panic among all the commuters.
He asked her to get off without further delay and even lashed out at her for "spreading the virus".
This correspondent came across the incident on Gulshan-Badda Link road, while an angry mob argued with the helper for his distasteful behaviour towards an elderly female passenger.
However, many others supported the act of the bus-helper.
They said she should "quarantine herself and not spread the virus".
This might sound funny but it is not.
Since the declaration came on March 8, people have rushed to nearest drugstore and super shops to buy masks, hand sanitizers and soaps. The face mask, which used to be TK30 per piece till last afternoon, now costs over Tk150.
This panic is unnecessary.
Everyone is panicked because we know that COVID-19 can be fatal, the vaccine is yet to be discovered, over 3,600 people have died worldwide and millions have been infected. We fear that it may not show any symptoms.
But, thousands have fully recovered from the infection and have went back to their normal lives. Therefore, coronavirus is not always fatal.
According to The World Health Organisation, the highest rate of people in risk of death from coronavirus is aged above 80 years or have some previous medical history of respiratory illness.
Rather than creating a panic among others and sharing baseless advices on social media, experts have urged everyone to focus on taking precautions that can prevent contacting with the disease.
The World Health Organisation has published a number of advices that includes washing hands regularly and covering the mouth while coughing and sneezing.
These are basic hygiene practices we all learned at kindergarten and have been practicing all our life. So why do we need to stock up sanitizers and soaps?
The WHO also said that those infected with flu or similar symptoms should wear masks to prevent infecting healthy people – however, since the declaration of IERDC, Dhaka streets have turned into a city of "masked people."
However, masks cannot keep people immune from contacting the virus, according to many medical experts. But many are still using masks because they believe it will save them from the virus.
A few months ago, when India put an export ban on onions, hundreds of thousands tonnes of the kitchen essential was stocked up by traders and very little were available in the market.
Panicked that they might run out of stock, consumers also stockpiled onions. That is because, they lacked information and awareness.
That was not the first incident. We are a nation known for getting carried away by misinformation and rumour very easily.
In July 20 last year, Taslima Begum Renu, mother of two children, was beaten to death over a rumour of child-lifting at North Badda in the capital.
Her children were turned orphan for just one "overreaction" by an angry mob.
Therefore, it is high time we take things very seriously and cautiously.
We need to stop worrying and start working on the advices given by medical experts to keep ourselves and our loved ones reasonably safe from the Wuhan virus.