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28 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 28 March, 2020 01:15:53 AM
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Two doctors among 4 new virus patients

Increased number of people to be tested as IEDCR revises criteria
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Two doctors among 4 new virus patients

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research (IEDCR) has modified its criteria for collecting samples from people having symptoms of COVID-19 infection. IEDCR Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora said the institute earlier used to collect samples of only expatriates or those who have connection with returnees from abroad. The institute also confirmed that four more people, including two doctors, have tested positive for the coronavirus, taking the number of confirmed cases to 48.

Dr Meerjady said: “In the past 24 hours, four more people have been diagnosed with the virus. The total number of confirmed cases so far is 48. Three of the newly-infected patients came into contact with a previously-infected patient.” “We're still tracking the source of infection of the fourth one. However, no patient has died from the virus in the last 24 hours,” she added.

"As the virus is spreading alarmingly, we are now collecting samples from old pneumonia patients, sick elderly citizens, especially those who are 60 plus, and other suspected people with coronavirus symptoms, including healthcare workers," she said at an online press briefing yesterday.

Apart from the IEDCR, the testing facility has been extended to Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Public Health Institution, and the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Disease (BITID) in Chattogram, she added, As per the IEDCR, those who should be tested for Covid-19 are: Returned expatriate exposing symptoms, people exposed to someone who has already tested positive, symptomatic people aged more than 60 having co-morbidity,  symptomatic people with pre-existing condition, people having atypical pneumonia, serious hospitalised patients with corona syndromes and professionals with symptoms who came into contact with people from different walks of life. Eleven people out of the 48 coronavirus-infected patients have been released from hospitals and five have died. At present, 32 people are being treated at different hospitals.

"Two of the four newly-infected patients are from outside Dhaka and two are from within the capital. Two patients have co-morbidities. But so far all the patients, including these four, are in stable condition,” the IEDCR director said.  “One of the patients is aged between 20 to 30, another between 31 to 40, still another between 41 to 50, and the last one between 51 to 60 years," Dr Meerjady added. Replying to a question, the IEDCR director said: “Healthcare workers are at high risk as they stay close to the infected patients. But they are not always infected by the patients—there are some cases of community transmission too. We are collecting samples immediately after receiving any call from healthcare workers.”

“We are trying to prevent the spread of the virus from the body of any dead coronavirus patient. The only risk of getting infected from the dead body of a coronavirus patient is while bathing it. Those who perform the ritual of the burial should wear personal protective equipment,” she further said. Till yesterday, three physicians and two nurses have been diagnosed with the virus infection, according to the institute.

Dr Meerjady also mentioned that so far more than a thousand people have been tested for the viral infection. “In the past 24 hours, 3,321 calls were made to the IEDCR hotline. During this period, 106 samples were tested. So far, 1,026 samples have been tested,” she said.

Control room set up in every district

Dr Meerjady said: “Earlier, IEDCR had only a control room for addressing queries of people. But now, control rooms have been set up in every district and upazila in a bid to help people and make them aware about the virus.” On top of that, a combined control room has been launched under the supervision of the Directorate General of Health Services, where different organisations are working to mitigate the crisis, she noted. She also mentioned that hotlines have been set up to reach the IEDCR at the district level.

Biman suspends all flight operations

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has suspended all of its flight operations with shutdown of its last two routes -- London and Manchester in UK for one week from March 30 to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.  

Two flights will leave for these two destinations on Sunday and will come back on Monday, said Mokabbir Hossain, Managing Director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines. “After that, the flight operation will be suspended for one week,” he added.  

On Thursday, Bangladesh suspended flights to all the countries except the UK and China until April 15 following the global outbreak of coronavirus.

The flight operation with Bangkok remained suspended from 12am on Thursday and that with Hong Kong will be suspended from March 29, said Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh.

Pabna village under lockdown

The local administration in Pabna has placed Katakhali village in Chatmohar upazila under lockdown after 64 people arrived there from Dhaka, Chattogram, and Madaripur in the last two days. Upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) and executive magistrate, Sarkar Mohammad Raihan, announced the lockdown yesterday.The coronavirus awareness committee came to know of a huge number of people entering the village from locals and immediately informed the matter to the local administration.

The UNO said all residents of the village must stay in their respective homes for two weeks and no one will be allowed to enter or leave the village during the period.

“If anyone violates the rules of quarantine, strict action will be taken against the individual,” he added.

Chatmohar police station OC Sheikh Nasir Uddin said members of the village police have been deployed in the area since yesterday morning.

Youth kept in isolation in Chandpur

A youth has been admitted to a hospital on suspicion having the coronavirus and kept in an isolation unit in Chandpur. People brought the youth to the 250-bed government hospital in Chandpur around 11am yesterday.  Later, a doctor noticed symptoms of coronavirus infection and took him to the isolation unit.

Chandpur Sadar Hospital RMO Dr Sujaodoula Rubel said the patient has been transferred to the isolation unit after the symptoms were observed.  The infection can be confirmed only after testing the patient, he added.

151 returnees home-quarantined in Satkhira

In all, 151 people, who returned home from abroad recently, were sent to home-quarantine in the last 24 hours in Satkhira district. With this, 2,052 overseas-returnees have been kept in home-quarantine in the last 11 days in the district. Besides, one is in the isolation unit of Satkhira Sadar Hospital.

He said among the overseas returnees who were kept in home-quarantine in the last 24 hours, 33 are in Satkhira Sadar upazila, 39 in Kalaroa, seven in Tala, seven in Kaliganj, 36 in Shyamnagar, 21 in Ashashuni, and eight in Debhata.

PCR machine reaches RMCH for COVID-19 test

The laboratory at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) received a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing machine, used for diagnosis of COVID-19 infection and other complicated diseases, on Thursday evening.

Dr Saiful Ferdous, Deputy Director of RMCH said the PRC machine will help to detect COVID-19 and other complex diseases and produce report in a day. Many patients are being admitted to the hospital with coronavirus-like symptoms but due to the lack of testing facilities, they are yet to test them, he said. The machine is currently being installed, he added.

Fazle Hossain Badsha, lawmaker of Rajshahi-2 constituency and chairman of RMCH governing body, told local journalists that testing for Covid-19 would be possible within a week once the Public Works Department finishes installing the machine. Khulna Medical College Hospital will also receive a PCR machine to identify coronavirus infected patient in the district.

Dr ATM Monjur Morshed, director of KMCH said,“The machine will arrive within the next 2-3 days.”

Faridpur doctors get 500 PPE

A total of 500 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was handed over to the doctors of Faridpur to protect health workers from infection of COVID-19 while performing their professional duties. Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, MP, handed over the PPE to the doctors of Faridpur Medical College Hospital (FMCH) and Faridpur Diabetict Association Medical College.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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