Dhaka awaits UN special medical expert team

Nadeem Qadir

5th May, 2020 10:01:33 printer

Dhaka awaits UN special medical expert team

Dhaka is waiting for the arrival of a United Nations expert medical team to assist local doctors fighting to prevent and cure patients suffering from COVID-19, which has seriously affected the country’s medics along with members of the security forces enforcing lockdowns.

Two doctors and five policemen have died so far after losing the battle against the coronavirus, while hundreds have been hospitalised or quarantined.

Diplomatic sources said Tuesday that a 19-member medical expert team will be sent by the UN to Bangladesh.

“It will be backed by the IOM , UNHCR and Save the Children and advice or assist Bangladeshi medics fighting to contain the virus for three months,” one diplomat told the daily sun.

A Bangladesh foreign ministry official, requesting anonymity, confirmed that a UN expert medical team will be coming to Dhaka.

“We have approved the team proposed by the UN and we are now waiting for them to come,” the official said.

He however said no date has yet been fixed for their arrival as the team will comprise of experts from different countries and thus coordination is required before they come to Dhaka.

“The expert team will guide Bangladeshi medics to contain further spread of  COVID-19 and treatment,” added the diplomat.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen had initially requested China to send an expert team and later made a general appeal to the UN and other major powers.

Japanese has given funds to several international organisations, including the UN agencies, to help the Covid-19 virus victims in Bangladesh, the sources said.

The international organisations, are UNICEF, IOM, UNHCR and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC), will reportedly execute a project titled "Emergency Support to Prevent the Spread of New Coronavirus."

The team is part of international cooperation to face off the worst health crisis the world has faced in about 100 years.

Health officials said that the month of May is critical for Bangladesh in terms of new cases of coronavirus and deaths from the extremely contagious disease as the lockdown is being slowly eased with businesses set to open 10 May, while many factories, particularly garment makers, have already started operation.

As of Tuesday, 10,923 people have been affected and 183 died across Bangladesh so far from the virus.

Meanwhile, the movement of people from one part of the country to another also appears to have been eased increasing chances of new cases of the coronavirus.