No new coronavirus case, one more dies

Special public holiday starts today

Staff Correspondent

26 March, 2020 12:00 AM printer

For the first time since the coronavirus attacked Bangladesh, no new cases were detected in the past 24 hours and health officials on Wednesday confirmed one more death to take the total toll so far to five.

The number of confirmed coronavirus-infected patients is 39, said the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

“We have tested 82 samples in the past 24 hours while no new was diagnosed with the coronavirus infection. However, another elderly male infected with the coronavirus died in hospital,” Prof Dr Meerjadey Sabrina Flora, director of the IEDCR told an online press brief from the IEDCR in Mohakhali of the capital on Wednesday.    

Meanwhile, a 10-day special anti-coronavirus government holiday started today as thousands of residents quit Dhaka to join their families living in other parts of Bangladesh. The step was taken to check the coronavirus spread. Also, the armed forces have also fanned out in the divisional and district towns, including coastal areas, to assist the civil administration in maintaining social distancing and strengthening the fight against the bug.

Earlier on March 17, Bangladesh closed all educational institutions until March 31, but later extended until until April 9. The government also suspended train services, water transport, public transport services, domestic flights and most international flights.

According to Dr. Flora the elderly person aged 65 years who died from the coronavirus infection was suffering from various co-morbiti including diabetes and blood pressure. He got infected after coming in contact with an expatriate family member who came on a visit home.

The deceased was diagnosed with the virus on March 18. He was suffering from hypertension and diabetes and was a family member of a foreign-returnee, she said. The man was transferred to Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital on March 21.

Mentioning that a total of 794 samples of suspected coronavirus patients have been tested since January 21, the IEDCR director said total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country remained 39 while seven of them have already recovered and released from hospital.

She said 47 confirmed and suspected coronavirus infected patients are staying in isolation and 47 more in institutional quarantine, while 30,423 were in home quarantine.

“So far there is case of community transmission in some places, but it is unlikelt to happen across the country,” she said.

Dr Flora said the health ministry decided to extend coronavirus testing facilities if the number of coronavirus infected patient increases in the country.

“As per the decision, primarily the coronavirus test is available at the IEDCR, the testing facility is being extended in Dhaka city and outside the capital. In phases, the facility will be extended in divisional level,” she said.

She further said the coronavirus testing facility will be available at national Institute of Public Health, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Sir Salimullah Medical College & Mitford Hospital alongside the IEDCR in the capital.

The testing facility also will be available in Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, Rangpur Medical College Hospital, Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, Khulna Medical College Hospital and Barishal Medical College Hospital, the IEDCR chief said.

The coronavirus testing facility also will be available at Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases at Faujdarhat in Chittagong and IEDCR field laboratory in Cox’s Bazar, she added.

Dr Flora said the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) received 2730 phone calls in its hotline numbers about the covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

She asked those feeling unwell not to leave their homes unless they needed hospital support and stressed the need for intensifying preventive measures.

She appealed to maintain personal hygiene like washing hands, maintaining coughing and sneezing etiquettes, avoiding hugging, handshaking and going into close contact with sick persons.

The IEDCR chief has suggested avoiding overseas travel to contain the virus spread. She also called the country’s people to follow government’s directives since March 26 to April 4 strictly in a bid to stop spreading the coronavirus.  Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus death on March 18.

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) asked people to call 01944333222 and 10655 for any suspected cases of coronavirus.

It asked people about the email address—- [email protected] and to phone at 16263 also for any health-related issues.

The death toll from the coronavirus or COVID-19 has reached 18,895 globally as of Wednesday. It has so far infected 422,629 people around the world, according to worldometer. COVID-19 is affecting 197 countries and territories around the world.  The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic.


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