Coronavirus Outbreak

Bangladesh not out of risk

Experts for public awareness

Mohammad Al Amin

27 February, 2020 12:00 AM printer

As the Covid-19 has been spreading in many countries of the world, Bangladesh is not out of risk of outbreak of the deadly virus, health experts said.

“As long as the Covid-19 infection will exist in the world, our country is also not out of the risk. We are observing the world’s situation of the coronavirus infection. That’s why we have been strengthening our preparations to face it,” Prof Abul Kalam Azad, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) told the daily sun.

According to Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), the outbreak of the virus infection has happened in more than 30 countries.

Some Bangladeshis have already been infected with the deadly virus in UAE and Singapore, it said

Some 3,20456 passengers from abroad have been screened at all ports of the country including the airports. Some 83 samples of suspected patients have also been tested at the virology laboratory of the IEDCR but no covid 19 infection has been detected yet till Wednesday.

“Since the number of countries of outbreak of the covid-19 infection has been increasing day by day, the risk of outbreak of the virus in our country has been increasing as well. We are closely monitoring the situation of the coronavirus infection across the world,” Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Director of IEDCR told the daily sun.

Talking to daily sun about the coronavirus, Saif Ullah Munshi, chairman of Virology Department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) said, “Since the virus (Covid-19) has already spread many countries of the world and our country is linked with global village then Bangladesh is not out of risk of outbreak of the virus. There is no scope to remain reluctant about the virus.”    

He said the government has to create huge public awareness to prevent the face the covid-19. “The authority has to remain vigilant about the corona virus situation. Public awareness will have to be created and the government has to carry out combined effort to face the situation,” Saif Ullah said. 

Health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque at a programme at the ministry on Tuesday said the country’s health sector has taken all out preparations to prevent the corona virus in the country.

“Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital is ready to provide treatment to people if anyone is infected with the corona virus. At the same time, there are a total of 2500 kits available for the treatment of the virus,” the health minister added.  

In the current global situation of corona virus as it is spreading gradually, Prof Meerjadey Sabrina Flora said particularly, all have to remain careful about travelling abroad. “Travelers should remain restrained from travelling abroad if not urgent. The health rules of covid 19 prevention will have to be followed in preventing avoid 19 for urgent traveling,” she said.

What is COVID-19

World Health Organisation (WHO) said current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. It’s a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans, it said. 

Describing symptoms of the covid-19, US CDC report said for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include: Fever, Cough and Shortness of breath.

Bangladesh at risk of COVID-19

Health experts said though the coronavirus infection has not been infected yet in Bangladesh, there is no scope to deny risk of infecting the virus here any time as more than thirty countries of the world.

Once the virus will infect the Bangladesh, it may not take too time for spreading the entire country as the new Coronavirus spreads rapidly. The Dhaka city is a populated or overpopulated city. When the covid-19 virus disease may spread rapidly in such a city, it will be transmitted among people of the country by one person to another, they added.

Bangladesh’s preparation

As the Covid 19 has spread many countries, the country’s health ministry is taking preparations to resist the virus and face the situation if the virus attacks.

If there is any suspected patient with covid-19 symptoms then the patients will be given treatment at isolation unit of Kurmitola General Hospital, Bangladesh Kuwait Friendship Government Hospital and Mohakhali Infectious Disease Hospital for treatment.

The health directorate also has asked all district general hospitals and government medical college hospitals to keep ready isolation unit for treatment of the virus infected patients. It also asked private hospitals to keep isolation unit ready to face the covid-19 situation.

The DGHS has taken special precautions while it has started screening the passengers returning from abroad at all airports, land ports and shipping ports of the country to detect the covid-19 virus infection. As part of the precautionary measures, the IEDCR has been carrying on testing samples of the suspected corona virus infected patients at its virology laboratory.

The IEDCR has also opened hotline to provide necessary advice and information about the corona virus. One may call the IEDCR hotlines —01937110011, 01937000011, 01927711784 and 01927711785.

Advises to people:

Bangladesh is still safe from the deadly contagious disease which may be transmitted in various ways including coughing or sneezing.  “Though there is nothing to be panicked about, but we must be alert about maintaining personal hygiene to prevent the deadly disease,” Dr Flora said.

She stressed that people must maintain etiquettes particularly in sneezing and coughing to prevent the diseases from spreading, she advised to wash hands frequently with water and soap (for at least 20 seconds), not to touch eye, nose and face with unclean hands.