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POST TIME: 5 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM
2 more die of COVID-19
9 new cases identified in 24 hours: IEDCR
MUBTASIM FUAD, Dhaka

2 more die of COVID-19

The government's disease control agency yesterday confirmed two more deaths due to the novel coronavirus infection and nine new cases in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of positive diagnoses to 70 and the death toll to eight.

The director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Prof. Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora disclosed this in a virtual press briefing on the latest coronavirus situation in Bangladesh.

This is the biggest jump in positive cases over a 24-hour period since Bangladesh announced its first cases on Mar 8.

"Among the two patients who died—one was aged around 90, had cardiac issues, and died in Dhaka, while the other patient was aged 68, had a stroke history and died outside Dhaka. One of the two patients who died in the last 24 hours was immediately diagnosed with the infection, while the other was diagnosed earlier," Prof. Meerjady said.

She also said, "Five out of the nine newly diagnosed patients had a history of contacts with coronavirus patients, two expatriates had foreign contacts and the source of infection of two patients could not be traced."

The director also said, "Among the new patients diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, eight tested positive at the IEDCR. The ninth was tested by a lab outside Dhaka and will go through a second test at the IEDCR."

"Thirty coronavirus patients have recovered so far. Of the 32 under-treatment patients, 12 are being currently treated at home and 20 at different hospitals," Dr Meerjady added.

There are two children aged below 10 among the new patients, said Flora. Three of the new cases are between 20 and 30, while two are in their 50s. One is a sexagenarian and the other is 90 years old.

Joining the same briefing, Abul Kalam Azad, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said they had conducted 434 tests after collecting 553 samples within the last 24 hours. So far 92,000 coronavirus testing kits had been collected and 21,000 distributed among various health organisations and one lakh more would arrive in the country by Wednesday.

Doctors on coronavirus hotlines received 66,803 calls in the last 24 hours. Some 457 people were sent to home quarantine and 12 to institutional quarantine in the last 24 hours. A total of 64,953 people have been put in quarantine so far.

Earlier, the IEDCR had confirmed the first death from coronavirus infection on March 18, second on March 21, third on March 23, fourth on March 24, fifth on March 25 and the sixth death on April 1.

Areas where coronavirus cases have been detected

The number of Covid-19 patients in the country is 62. Of them, the highest 36 were in Dhaka.

The data compiled on positive cases by the IEDCR shows that, in Dhaka, nine of the patients were detected in Mirpur—five in Monipur, two in Senpara and one in Mirpur-10 and Mirpur-11 each.

There were four cases in Basabo, three in Banglabazar and two in Mohaammadpur, Lalmatia, Hazaribagh, Moghbazar, Uttara and Uttarkhan each. Besides, one patient was found in Jatrabari, Azimpur, Kalabagan, Rampura, Mohakhali, Banani-Gulshan, Baridhara and Khilkhet each.

Outside Dhaka, 10 patients were from Madaripur, four each from Narayanganj and Gaibandha, and one each from Gazipur, Cumilla, Cox’s Bazar, Chuadanga, Rangpur and Chattogram. Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus case on March 8. The first victim hailed from Madaripur.

According to DGHS sources, among the infected 16 are overseas returnees—six from Italy, three from the USA, two from Saudi Arabia, and one each from India, France, Germany, Kuwait and Bahrain.

8 more Bangladeshis die in US, total 63

In New York, the number of Bangladeshi expatriate deaths due to the coronavirus is increasing daily, as well as the number of infection.

According to the latest data, eight more Bangladeshis have died in New York in the last 24 hours after being infected with the coronavirus. So far, 63 Bangladeshis have been reported dead due to the coronavirus across the United States. Of them, 59 were in New York, said Zakaria Masud, editor of a local weekly, Ajkal, and former president of Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association.

Man with coronavirus symptoms dies in Natore

A 55-year-old man suffering from fever, cough, and cold—symptoms of covoronavirus infection—died around 3.30 am yesterday, Sadar upazila’s Health and Family Planning Officer Dr Mahbub said.

“The health authorities have collected samples from the deceased and sent it to Rajshahi to test for the coronavirus. We will take further steps after receiving the results,” said Civil Surgeon Dr Mizanur Rahman.

Upazila Health Officer Dr Mahabubur Rahman said the deceased, identified as Dulal, had been suffering from fever and cold for the past few days. A team has gone to the area to collect his samples, he said.

Middle aged man dies in Netrokona

A man aged between 50 and 55 years suffering from fever and respiratory problems died at his house in Khaliajuri upazila in Netrokona yesterday morning.

The deceased had returned to the upazila from Dhaka four to five days ago.

Confirming the matter, Khaliajuri Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) AHM Ariful Islam said, “We have collected samples as he had coronavirus symptoms. The deceased’s house has been locked down.”

Two children die in Lakshmipur

Two children suffering from fever, cough and breathing complications—symptoms similar to coronavirus infection—died in Kamalnagar upazila of Lakshmipur.

One of the dead was only 26 months old and belonged to Torabganj. The child was suffering from cough and breathing complications. Two days ago, his condition worsened and he developed convulsions and severe respiratory complications. He later succumbed to the complications, according to sources at Kamalnagar upazila health complex.

Following the child’s death at Torabganj, the local administration locked down three families on Friday night. The other was a four-year-old from Char Martin union. He had been suffering from fever for a month. He died yesterday morning while being taken to Noakhali sadar hospital, sources said.

“Samples collected from the bodies of the deceased will be sent to the IEDCR,” said Abu Taher, Kamalnagar Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer.

“As the Torabganj child died of respiratory complications, we coordinated with the health department and locked down three families,” said Nurul Absar, officer-in-charge of Kamalnagar police station.

“We’ve learnt about the other death, but have not yet decided on any lockdown,” he added.

3 doctors, 20 others in quarantine in Chattogram

As many as 23 medical personnel, including three doctors, of the National Hospital in Chattogram city were sent to home quarantine as they came in contact with a COVID-19 patient.

The patient was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit before he tested positive for coronavirus.

Chattogram Civil Surgeon, Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi said, “The coronavirus positive patient had previously received treatment at the National Hospital. So, 23 medical staff were sent to quarantine. There is no need for a full hospital lockdown.”

The deputy general manager of the National Hospital Ltd, Babul Hasan, said, “There were 20 nurses, staff and three doctors who worked in the ICU and treated the patient. The administration has sent all of them to home quarantine for 14 to 21 days. Their salary allowance will continue during this time. We will also conduct regular check-ups on them.”

On Friday, 32 samples were tested at Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases and one was identified as coronavirus positive.

The 60-year-old patient was suffering from various diseases including diabetes and asthma. Authorities locked down his house in the Dampara area after the incident.

According to sources, the patient’s son and daughter-in-law had returned from Saudi Arabia on March 12. He patient might have contracted the virus from them, authorities believe. The patient visited two more clinics before coming to General Hospital.

Chattogram Local administration has also locked down the houses of the patient’s relatives and neighbours in Satkania and Chandnaish upazilas.

Satkania Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Noor A Alam said, “The houses in Satkania were locked down around 11.30 pm on Friday. Besides, all members of the house have been instructed not to venture outside until further instructions.”

Chandnaish Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Imtiaz Hossain said, “The corona-positive patient from Dampara has relatives here. Upon receiving the news, we locked down the house as per orders from higher authorities.”

12 people, including a nurse, being treated for suspected coronavirus at RMCH

The Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) is currently treating 12 people, including one of its nurses, who have been showing symptoms of the coronavirus, but their condition is improving fast, the hospital authorities said at a press briefing yesterday (Saturday). The RMCH Medicine Department’s Associate Professor, Azizul Haque Azaz, said the condition of most of them had improved and they would be released soon.

However, three males among them will be under close observation, while the nurse has been kept in institutional isolation at the hospital, as she has been suffering from fever for the last ten days and has other coronavirus symptoms, he added.

On April 1, a coronavirus testing laboratory was launched at the RMCH and samples of eight persons were sent to the lab as of Friday.

Five samples had been tested at the laboratory so far and all of them were found to be negative, said hospital sources.

35 more Bangladeshis return home from India

Thirty-five more Bangladesh nationals, who got stuck in West Bengal during the ongoing lockdown in India, returned home through the Benapole check-post on Saturday morning under a special arrangement.

Among them, five were sent to institutional quarantine at Jashore General Hospital as they had high body temperature, said Dr Jahidul Islam, health officer at the check-post.

“Two of them are from Gopalganj and one each from Khulna, Jashore and Magura districts. Thirty other returnees with red seal on their hands were asked to remain in compulsory 14-day home-quarantine,” he said.

On Friday, 81 other Bangladeshis returned home from India. India allowed them to return home after discussions between the authorities concerned of the two countries.

Ahasan Habib, officer-in-charge of the Benapole Immigration Check Post, said they had kept the address and mobile phone numbers of all the returnees from India and those would be sent to their respective districts.

15 houses, shops locked down in Cox’s Bazar

The local administration in Cox’s Bazar has locked down seven houses, seven shops and a medical centre at Teknaf to contain coronavirus infections.

The local administration has taken the step as a RAB member, who recently visited his father-in-law’s house in Cox’s Bazar, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Teknaf UNO Mohammad Saiful Islam confirmed the news.

He said the father-in-law’s house is located in the Old Pollan Para area of Teknaf municipality, and he stayed there from March 20-26.

Seven houses, seven shops and a medical centre were kept under lockdown from Friday night following the report which showed that the RAB man had tested positive for COVID-19.

The man was suffering from high fever, cough and respiratory problems and he was taken to Dhaka.

Two policemen sent to isolation in Bagerhat

Two policemen were  sent to isolation units of two hospitals for showing symptoms of coronavirus infection, while 1,683 people have been home quarantined in Bagerhat district till Saturday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Confirming the isolation of the two policemen, Bagerhat Civil Surgeon, Dr K M Humayun Kabir said: “One of them is 23-year-old and the other 22-year-old. One was working in Narail and was sent to the Kachua Upazila Health Complex on Friday, while the other, who worked in Bagerhat district town, was sent to the isolation unit at Bagerhat Sadar Hospital earlier.”

Among the 1,683 people, 132 were home quarantined in the last 24 hours, he added.

 Scouts conduct online awareness campaign on COVID-19

The Bangladesh Scouts is collaborating with the government and other organisations to curb the spread of coronavirus through online awareness campaigns.

A Coronavirus Co-ordination Cell (CCC) has also been set up at the headquarters of the Bangladesh Scouts, said a press release on Saturday.

Dr Md Mozammel Haque Khan, chief national commissioner of the Bangladesh Scouts and commissioner (enquiry) of the Anti-Corruption Commission, in an online conference recently, urged the national commissioners and national deputy commissioners of the organisation to monitor the activities in their respective districts.

Md Abul Kalam Azad, president of the Bangladesh Scouts and former Principal SDG Coordinator at the Prime Minister’s Office, said scouts have already started conducting online training and awareness activities through telecommunication and social media from their homes.

“Recreational time can both be entertaining and educational. To that end, Bangladesh Scouts are conducting various online activities in collaboration with various organisations,” he added.

Kalam further said they expect all citizens to cooperate with the government from their own positions to bring the situation back to normal.