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4 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 4 April, 2020 12:19:30 AM

5 new coronavirus patients identified

Three with ‘COVID-19 like symptoms’ die
Mubtasim Fuad, Dhaka
5 new coronavirus patients identified

Sixty-one people have so far been infected with novel coronavirus in the country as five more people tested positive with the virus in the last 24 hours (Thursday 8am to Friday 8am). The death toll from COVID-19 remains at six. Health minister Zahid Malik made the disclosure at a virtual briefing on the latest update of the COVID-19 situation in Bangladesh. He urged everyone to maintain safety measures, wear masks, and stay indoors.

"We have arranged adequate ventilators at the hospitals and designated specialised ambulances to carry COVID-19 patients. Various hospitals have opened isolation wards. Some are meant for treating coronavirus cases. Ambulances are ready in the districts to carry such patients," he said. The minister urged everyone to comply with the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Of the five new patients, two were detected by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and three were detected by other laboratories.

'Keep private hospitals, clinics, and chambers open'

The minister urged doctors and nurses to stay beside the people. "Keep private hospitals, clinics, and chambers open for patients, otherwise steps will be taken later," he said. "We are getting reports that many doctors have kept private clinics and chambers closed on the excuse of lack of security. They should not retreat from health services in this hour of crisis. Start treating patients as before. Otherwise, we will move for stern action," he added.

The minister expressed his frustration over false news spreading through the media. "The media people are doing a very good job. But some of them are spreading false news. We will take action against them. Spread positive news and follow the instructions of the Prime Minister and the health ministry,” he said. Describing the situation in the neighbouring countries, Zahid Malik said: “The situation will depend on present action. We are all right and our neighbouring countries are all right.”

38 males and 23 females among infected

According to the data on positive cases compiled by IEDCR, men are more likely to get infected by the coronavirus. Out of the total cases in the country, 38 were males and 23 were females.

Three in every four of the COVID-19 positive cases found in Bangladesh are aged between 21 and 50 years, while 16 patients fall under the age group of 41-50 years, followed by 15 aged between 31 and 40 years, and 12 between 21 and 30 years.

Only 11 patients have been found aged over 60, while only four patients belong to the age group of 51-60 years. Two minors aged less than 10 years got infected with the virus in Bangladesh, while only one is from the age group of 11-20 years.

22 are in hospital, seven at their homes

Among the patients, 22 are undergoing treatment in hospital and seven at their respective homes, while 26 have completely recovered and been released from hospital. Joining the health minister’s briefing, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) director general Abul Kalam Azad said 513 new samples were tested in the last 24 hours —126 in IEDCR and 387 at other testing facilities.

However, Dr Azad said he does not yet have the testing information of some 20 districts and the 513 tests were done in the rest of the districts in the last 24 hours. He also said they have 71,000 testing kits in stock as they do not have to distribute more kits to the designated testing facilities right now. “We will distribute those kits as needed and we are going to increase the number of tests,” he added.

There are nine testing facilities in Dhaka and five outside Dhaka functioning currently.  A total of 28 testing facilities will be set up in April across the country, the DGHS director general said. A total of 366,350 personal protective equipment (PPE) have been distributed to healthcare professionals across the country till now and 64,410 more are currently in stock.

Dr Azad said people are panicking over seasonal flu as the symptoms resemble those of COVID-19.  People are visiting hospitals even when they can just take over the counter medicines and use home remedies to recover, he added.

“If you have a fever, take paracetamol. If you have a sore throat, drink warm water and gargle with hot water. If you are suffering from cold, take antihistamine medicines,” he said. Dr Azad also said the IEDCR staff are overwhelmed with calls as more people tend to call them instead of calling 16263 and 333. “IEDCR has 19 phones, and all of them remain busy as too many people call there. We recommend people with health issues other than COVID-19 symptoms to call 16263 and 333,” he added.

He also said that if the staff think anyone needs to call the IEDCR numbers, they will redirect the call there. In the last 24 hours, the IEDCR hotline numbers, health call centre number 16263, and 333 have received 65,984 calls. During the same time, 547 people have been home quarantined, while five were quarantined in designated institutions. Currently, a total of 16,453 people have been quarantined.

During the last 24 hours, 14 people have been taken to isolation units and 10 released. At present, 82 people are in isolation.  So far, 48,031 people have been released from quarantine, said the DGHS director general.

TV journalist tests positive

A journalist working with a privately run TV channel has tested positive for the coronavirus. He is undergoing treatment at the Kuwait–Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital.  Another 47 employees who came in contact with him have been sent to home quarantine, said a press release provided by the television channel. The authorities concerned have urged all journalists working for the TV channel to take precautions while covering the news.

5 more Bangladeshis die of COVID-19 in New York

Five more Bangladeshis have died of the coronavirus in New York in the US in the last 24 hours. Two of the deceased have been identified as Mostafijur Rahman Dipu and Arif Talukder.  With these deaths, at least 56 expatriate Bangladeshis have died of COVID-19 in the US.

Man dies at Magura isolation unit

A patient with COVID-19 symptoms, who was placed in an isolation unit at the Mohammadpur upazila health complex in Magura, died yesterday morning.  The deceased was a resident of the Kalomdhari area of the upazila. Upazila health officer Moksedul Momin said the man was admitted to the hospital on Thursday with fever, cold, and breathing problems. He was placed in the hospital’s isolation unit owing to his critical condition.

Later, he was taken to the Faridpur Medical College Hospital where the doctor declared him dead. Magura upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Mizanur Rahman said a red flag has been flown at the house of the deceased.  All his family members have been ordered to stay in home quarantine, he added.

Student with coronavirus symptoms dies in Satkhira

A college student who was suffering from fever, cold, and respiratory problems died at his residence in Narayanpur village in Sadar upazila of Satkhira yesterday. However, the Department of Health said he had no coronavirus infection.  A UP member of Narayanpur village, Irad Ali, said the youth was suffering from fever, cold, cough, and breathing difficulties for seven days. Satkhira civil surgeon Dr Husain Shawkat said a medical team was sent to examine the youth.

Man dies in Meherpur

 A 35-year-old man with COVID-19 symptoms died at Kushtia General Hospital at midnight on Thursday. The man hailed from Kola village under Meherpur Sadar upazila. Following his death, the Department of Health and the local administration locked down his home.  Dr Alok Kumar Das, the upazila’s health and family welfare officer, said the man died of respiratory problems and his samples would be sent to IEDCR.

The man was serving the Bangladesh Navy and recently returned home from Bagura for a holiday. According to locals, the man went to his father-in-law’s house six days ago. He caught a fever and a cold and experienced breathing difficulties there. He was later admitted to the Kushtia Medical College and Hospital as his condition deteriorated. But he breathed his last on Thursday night.

Homes of 2 coronavirus suspects in Cumilla under lockdown

The houses of two coronavirus suspects have been locked down at Jhograr Char and Khodedaidpur villages in Cumilla’s Homna upazila. Tapti Chakma, the UNO of Homna, said both suspects returned home from Dhaka four days ago with fever and cough. Upazila health and family planning officer Dr Abdus Salam Shikder said they collected samples of the suspects to test whether they had contracted the coronavirus. Of the two suspects, one is an employee of a hospital in Dhaka, while the other is a lawyer.

One in isolation, 10 others in quarantine

A ward boy who was in contact with a deceased coronavirus patient in Narayanganj Bandar upazila has been placed in isolation. Ten people have been quarantined in this connection. They are a doctor, a nurse, an ambulance driver, a private lab technician, an X-ray technician, a chamber assistant, a caretaker, and three employees of a diagnostic centre.

“One hundred families have been placed under lockdown, including the house of the deceased. Samples of all these families will be collected and tested,” said Narayanganj civil surgeon Dr Md Imtiaz.

“How the deceased woman came to be infected is still unknown. IEDCR is investigating the matter,” he added.

Narayanganj deputy commissioner Md Jasim Uddin said the police have been monitoring the area under lockdown. He also said the district administration will provide the necessary material, including food, to the families.

Rickshaw-puller sent to isolation in Kushtia

A rickshaw-puller was sent to the isolation ward of the Kushtia General Hospital yesterday after he went there for treatment with fever, cough, and breathing complications. Family members had taken the 45-year-old man to the hospital around 2pm, confirmed Dr Tapas Kumar Sarkar, resident medical officer at the hospital.

He also said the man was showing such symptoms for the last three days and his breathing complications worsened on Thursday. Kushtia civil surgeon Dr HM Anwarul Islam said IEDCR have been informed about the case. The patient’s samples will be sent to IEDCR for testing, he added.

Rangpur starts coronavirus tests

The Rangpur Medical College has started testing the samples of suspected coronavirus patients since 10am yesterday. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) laboratory at the medical college started the tests with 42 samples.

Dr Mostakimur Rahman, head of the microbiology department and in-charge of the PCR lab, said: “We collected the samples from 11am to 12pm on Thursday. Of the samples, 11 are from Rangpur and 31 are from Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Nilphamari, and Dinajpur.” “We will submit the test results to IEDCR and other relevant government organisations after completing the procedure,” he added. The laboratory has a total of 228 coronavirus testing kits.

Coronavirus tests to begin in Barishal from today

Coronavirus tests will begin at the Sher-E-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) in Barishal from today (Saturday).  Work is underway to set up a polymer chain reaction (PCR) machine in a cell of the hospital’s microbiology department.

If all goes well, the coronavirus detection tests will start from Saturday, said SBMC director Dr Md Bakir Hossain. A virologist and two specially trained technicians are needed for carrying out the tests. But there is no such skilled technician at SBMC. Dr Md Bakir Hossain, however, said that the teachers and technicians working in the virology department would initially carry out the tests.

Even then, specially trained virologists and two technicians are needed. An application has been made to the ministry for skilled manpower, he added. He expected to get the needed personnel by next Saturday.

Brahmanbaria government officer tests negative

A government official at Bancharampur upazila of Brahmanbaria district tested negative for COVID-19.  Brahmanbaria civil surgeon Mohammad Ekram Ullah confirmed this yesterday. On March 31, the official was asked to stay in home quarantine after showing coronavirus symptoms. Later, on April 1, he was sent to IEDCR for tests.  The civil surgeon said the official will return to Bancharampur as he has been tested negative for the virus.




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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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