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26 March, 2020 12:42:56 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 26 March, 2020 11:19:05 AM

Limited community transmission likely in two areas: IEDCR

Death toll rises to five, 4 more test facilities open today
Limited community transmission likely in two areas: IEDCR
An army man urges a young man to wear a face mask during their patrol in front of the DC office in Khulna city yesterday after their deployment in districts in aid to civil administration to ensure that people keep safe social distance to curb the contagion of coronavirus. Focus Bangla Photo

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research (IEDCR), ‌has‌ ‌said that there might have been limited community transmission of deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) in two areas of the country.

Asked about the community transmission of the virus, IEDCR Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora said, "We investigated two cases. The source of the infection has not been confirmed yet in those places. That's why, we are assuming that COVID-19 transmission may have occurred at a limited community level. But I can't say whether it's community transmission without analysing the detailed information."

"Limited local transmission may have occurred in a specific place. So, we have isolated the place to prevent the transmission. But community transmission has not occurred across the country still now," she added.

Meanwhile, the IEDCR ‌has‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌that‌ ‌four‌ ‌more‌ ‌testing‌ ‌facilities for novel coronavirus will be set up in‌ Dhaka by today (Thursday).

It has also confirmed that a 65-year-old man has become the latest death victim of the deadly virus.

So far, IEDCR remains the the‌ ‌lone authorised‌ ‌testing facility to detect COVID-19.

The IEDCR director said this while briefing the media on the latest coronavirus situation in the country via video conferencing yesterday. She said that no new case has been reported in the same period.

According to IEDCR, the new testing facilities will be set up at the Institute‌ ‌of‌ ‌Public‌ ‌Health,‌ ‌Dhaka‌ ‌Shishu‌ ‌Hospital,‌ ‌Dhaka‌ ‌Medical‌ ‌College‌ ‌Hospital‌, ‌and‌ ‌Sir‌ ‌Salimullah‌ ‌Medical‌ ‌College‌ ‌Hospital.‌ ‌

Besides,‌ the ‌medical‌ ‌college‌ ‌hospitals‌ ‌in‌ ‌all‌ ‌other‌ ‌seven‌ ‌divisions,‌ ‌along‌ ‌with‌ ‌Bangladesh‌ ‌Institute‌ ‌of‌ ‌Tropical‌ ‌and‌ ‌Infectious‌ ‌Diseases (BITID) ‌in‌ ‌Cox’s‌ ‌Bazar,‌ ‌will‌ ‌have‌ ‌testing‌ ‌facilities for COVID-19‌ ‌soon.‌

Asked about the recent COVID-19 victim, Dr Meerjady said: "The man had diabetes and hypertension. He was tested positive on March 18. He was initially kept in quarantine at a local hospital. On March 21, he was shifted to Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital. He died there this morning (Wednesday)."

"There are 47 patients in the isolation units of different hospitals and 47 are in institutional quarantine," she said. "So far,‌ ‌a‌ ‌total‌ ‌of‌ ‌794‌ ‌samples have been tested by IEDCR, which‌‌ receives ‌samples‌ ‌from‌ ‌suspected‌ ‌patients‌ ‌as‌ ‌per the‌ World Health Organisation (‌WHO)‌ ‌guidelines," she also said.

"In total, 39 coronavirus cases have so far been reported in Bangladesh. Seven of them have recovered completely and returned home. Five patients have died," she added.

New hunting number added

People are requested to call two hotline numbers—01944333222 & 10655—that will divert the calls to the available 17 helpline numbers of IEDCR and NSU Public Health Department. 

Also, people can reach out to IEDCR via email and Facebook.

While talking to reporters, the IEDCR director again informed people about the new email address opened by the IEDCR. The email address is: (

Dr Meerjady said people can also call 16263 for any health-related issues. On Wednesday, IEDCR received 2,730 calls and all of them were about Covid-19, she added. 

In total, 82 patients were tested in the last 24 hours. Altogether, 794 have been tested so far in the country.

Dr Meerjady came up with the information as there have been allegations that the other hotline numbers are not operating properly. The other hotline numbers (which were given earlier) are as follows: 01401184551, 01401184554, 01401184555, 01401184556, 01401184559, 01401184560, 01401184563, 01401184568, 01927711784, 01927711785, 01937000011, 01937110011.

Manikganj village locked down

The Ghior upazila administration in Manikganj locked down a village after a suspected coronavirus patient hailing from that village died in home-quarantine in Dhaka.

The suspected patient used to work as a cashier in a Dhaka hospital. He lived with his wife and child in Dhaka. He developed a cold and fever a few weeks ago, according to sources.

Later, the hospital authorities instructed him to stay in home quarantine. But he soon developed shortness of breath and his health condition started to deteriorate. 

On Tuesday night, he was rushed to Kurmitola Hospital where the authorities declared him dead. The deceased was buried in his village yesterday morning. Representatives from the upazila administration, police, and health department went to his village home  and locked down the entire village after hearing about the symptoms.

"We don't know if that person died of the coronavirus or not. We locked down the village as a precaution," said upazila nirbahi officer Ireen Akter said.

"We heard that a few of his relatives joined in his namaz-e-janaza. We are making a list of them and will send them to home-quarantine," she added.

Elderly man dies during home-quarantine in Sylhet

An elderly man, who was in home-quarantine after his son returned home from the UK on March 14, died in Sylhet city on Tuesday evening. Giyas Uddin, 65, breathed his last at his residence in a housing estate around 9:00pm.

He was already under regular dialysis treatment due to kidney complications.

Sources said Giyas Uddin started experiencing shortness of breath the day after his son returned home from the UK. Later, he was taken to the Kidney Foundation in Sylhet, where the doctor on duty advised him to stay in home-quarantine after listening to his case history.

The victim was buried last night following the advice of deputy commissioner and civil surgeon, said Sylhet City Corporation ward councillor Rejaul Hasan Kayes.

"The kidney patient died due to lack of treatment for the fear of the coronavirus. We are urging all doctors to provide proper healthcare to all patients." said Sylhet civil surgeon Dr Premananda Mandal.

No hospital can refuse any patient: Health ministry

No government or private hospital can refuse treatment to any patient from now on.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare gave this directive yesterday and wanted it strictly followed.

"A doctor should give primary treatment to a patient having COVID-19 symptoms. Next, the patient should be sent to a second doctor with personal protective equipment (PPE) for further treatment," says a ministry press release.

All hospitals at the district level and above should have an ambulance with a driver having PPE to only carry coronavirus-infected persons and not any other general patient, the release adds.

Two houses under lockdown in Chattogram

The local administration of Chattogram city has put two houses under lockdown in the city, as a woman, who tested positive for the coronavirus, visited those houses.

District civil surgeon Sheikh Fazle Rabbi Mia said the woman, aged about 75, from Chakaria in Cox’s Bazar district returned from Saudi Arabia on March 13 after performing Umrah.

The woman tested positive for COVID-19 and is undergoing treatment in Cox’s Bazar. After returning home, she went to the house of her son in the Chandgaon Residential Area and later visited the house of another son at Kalamia Bazar in Bakolia area in the city.

On getting information, the local administration put the two houses under lockdown.

402 overseas returnees home-quarantined in Satkhira

As many as 402 overseas returnees have been put under home-quarantine in Satkhira in the last 24 hours, raising the total in the district to 1,562 in the last nine days.

Among the overseas returnees, 84 have been kept in home-quarantine in Satkhira Sadar upazila, 129 in Kalaroa, 40 in Tala, 27 in Kaliganj, 31 in Shyamnagar, 49 in Ashashuni, and 42 in Debhata upazilas.

DC SM Mostafa Kamal, who is also the president of the Satkhira District Coronavirus Prevention and Control Committee, said the district administration, police administration, and the health department were already working to bring the expatriates under home-quarantine. 

Red flags have been placed before the houses of overseas returnees and identification marks have been stamped on their hands, he added.

DMP to spray disinfectants from water cannons

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) will spray disinfectants from water cannons in city areas twice a day in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The measure was ordered by DMP commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam, according to a statement released yesterday.

Eight water cannons will be used for spraying disinfectants in every police station area of the capital. The first spell will be held from 10am-12 noon. The second session will begin at 4pm and end at 6pm.

The arrangement will remain in effect until further notice, the statement says.


Two mosques in Tolarbagh closed

Locals have stopped praying at two mosques in Tolerbagh in the capital, as two people died in two days there with COVID-19.

Though none of their family members came from abroad recently as the family members said, So almost all the residents of the area claimed that the two people got infected with the Covid-19 from a local mosque. Residents of that area suspects that they perhaps got infected while offering daily prayers.

The two elders who used to pray in the Darul Ihsan Jame mosque in North Tolarbagh, including that mosque two mosques in Tolarbagh are closed, said Abdus Sattar, president of the Tolarbagh Building Owners Association.

"Azan is only being offered from the mosques," he said.

Tolarbag House Owners' Association President Shuvashis Biswas said that after the second death within a day they got alerted and are trying to maintain an unofficial lockdown. 

"The local lawmaker Md Aslamul Haque announced that the lockdown would continue until the situation got better. He also assured us that the district administration would provide food and other necessary goods if we faced any shortage during the self-lockdown," said Shuvashis.

He said, “The second person who died, his son-in-law, wife and housekeeper have been found infected with the virus. The Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research (IEDCR) is regularly checking their information."

He also said that a list of 22 men who used to offer prayers in the same row with the two elders was given to the IEDCR. 

Residents of the North Tolarbag area have been maintaining self-quarantine and avoiding unnecessary street movements. The main gate of the residential area have been shut and no outsider was allowed there, as per police instructions. 

However, residents of the area now demand that everyone who has a high fever and other symptoms of corona will have to be tested as soon as possible.

On 22 March night, as a second person who tested positive for the coronavirus died in the area, the local mosque committee prohibited any resident to go to the mosque, saying, "Until the situation gets normal, the mosque committee has decided not to offer any congregational prayer. And the Muslim dwellers are suggested to offer their daily prayers at home."

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Mirpur Division Mahmuda Afroze said their patrol teams have been deployed to check if there is any public gathering. "If two or three people try to gather in any stall or any other area, we will disperse them."

Patient dies at RMCH

A 46-year-old pneumonia patient died in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) yesterday While in an another incident an RMCH nurse, who was put in home quarantine over coronavirus suspicions, was sent to Dhaka as her test could not be done in the last five days.

The deceased woman died around 1:00am, Dr Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, in-charge of the ICU of RMCH said.

She had been asking about whether she had contracted coronavirus since being admitted on March 22 with severe pneumonia. Two days later, she was taken to the ICU as her condition deteriorated, the doctor said.

"She had all the major symptoms of coronavirus. She couldn't remember all of the people she came into contact with. We wanted to have her tested, but we did not have the facility to do so. ," he said.

Her body was handed over to her family members and they buried her following regular social customs, he said.

Meanwhile, The RMCH authority had earlier on Tuesday afternoon sent a nurse to Dhaka.

Dr Saiful Ferdous, deputy director of RMCH, confirmed said the nurse along with an Italy-returnee returned to Rajshahi from Dhaka by bus. She felt fever just after she reached Rajshahi. So, she doubted of being infected with coronavirus.

She had been kept in isolation in a hospital in Rajshahi since March 21. On Tuesday morning, she was referred to Dhaka as her health condition deteriorated, he added.





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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.

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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