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3 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 April, 2020 01:40:10 AM

‘1,000 samples to be tested a day’

2 more COVID-19 cases detected: IEDCR

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked to test samples of at least two coronavirus suspects from every upazila and at least 1,000 samples of suspected COVID-19 patients across the country by today (Friday) to stop spread of coronavirus pandemic. Director of Management Information System (MIS) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr Habibur Rahman disclosed the information in an online live briefing from Mohakhali yesterday.

"As per the PM's directive, which we received on Thursday, samples of two suspected COVID-19 patients from each upazila will be collected so that we can have at least 1,000 samples by Thursday and test those by today," said Rahman. Based on her direction, Director General of Health Directorate Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad has already asked different divisional directors to collect the samples, he added.

Two more infections

Meanwhile, two more patients tested positive for COVID-19 in the country in last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infected to 56.

No new death was reported across Bangladesh between Wednesday 12pm and Thursday 12pm.  A total of six people have died of COVID-19. Talking about the newly-infected people, the MIS director said that both are male. One of them is aged between 30 to 40 years while the other is between 70 to 80 years of age.

"We are conducting investigation on how they got infected," the MIS director added. However, Dr Habibur did not disclose their location and identity over security concern.

A total of 141 samples were tested in the last 24 hours across Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, five more people have been taken to isolation in last 24 hours, while a total of 373 people were kept under observation till now. Out of the total, 295 were released and 78 remains in under isolation across the county.

 ‘We will conduct the tests as 10 laboratories – six in the capital and four in different divisions – have been prepared for testing samples of COVID-19 suspects,’ said the director.

However, the sources of infections in seven people so far also remained undetected, which the IEDCR described as ‘limited-scale community transmission’.

Calls, PPE and home quarantine

A total of 401 people arrived in country in last 24 hours and were screened at their entry point. In last 24 hours, national healthcare centre number 16263 received 66,465 phone calls.

Habibur also said that 357, 250 personal protective equipment (PPE) were distributed among health workers across the country and more equipment were in stock.

Although over 10.42 lakh people called to the hotlines, only 1,896 of the suspects were tested so far.

The MIS director requested all concerned not to embarrass those getting released from quarantine. “People already released from quarantine are completely healthy. Please, try to accept them as usual,” he said.

Ask whether BCG vaccine is preventive for coronavirus, the director said that some are talking about BCG vaccine but as long as World Health Organization (WHO) is telling us about it, we will not provide any information on it.

Urging the private medical practitioners not to keep their chambers closed, he asked them to attend patients who needed care.

Till now 62127 people are in home quarantine. In last 24 hours 1404 people have taken to home quarantine while 9 are in institutional quarantine. As of now 45704 people have got released from home quarantine and 16700 are in.

N-95 mask

Brigadier General Md Shahidullah, director of Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD), said at the briefing that N-95 mask is not made locally.

“The masks, which were distributed among different hospitals, are surgical. There are some packets written in N-95. We have taken back that mask and that were mistaken.”

He also said the process is on going to bring 1.5 lakh N-95 mask from aboard and it will be delivered to a specialized hospital upon arrival.

10 to be trained in each upazila for death rituals

The government has issued directives to train up 10 volunteers in each upazila for performing last rituals deaths to avert creating panic over any death in suspicion of COVID-19 cases.

“Recently, it was noticed that people became panicked to take necessary measures for last rituals of deaths caused by some diseases. In this regard, at least 10 volunteers should be selected at local level performing last rituals,” said an order of the health ministry yesterday.

It said a committee has been formed at every upazila to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus and those committees have given specific duties.

Islamic Foundation’s local body or Al-Markajul will taken necessary steps to train up volunteers in performing last rituals of deaths, the order added.

718 more released from Rajshahi quarantine

As many as 718 more people were released from home quarantine after they were found to have no symptoms of coronavirus at the end of 14 days as quarantine period in all eight districts under Rajshahi division till 8am yesterday.

With this, the number of total released people from home quarantine stood at 4,742 and 3,335 others remained in home quarantine, including 16 in institutional ones in the division.

Divisional Director of Health Dr Gopendra Nath Acharya said a total of 7,077 people have, so far, been put in home quarantine since March 10 to prevent community transmission of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, a total of 47 new persons have been kept under home quarantine in the division during last 24 hours till yesterday morning.

Among the new ones, 19 have been home-quarantined in Rajshahi, two in Chapainawabganj, nine in Joypurhat, three in Bogura, twelve in Sirajganj and two in Pabna districts.

Dr Gopen Acharya said currently a total of 16 patients are undergoing treatment in isolation units with eight others getting released in the division.

An integrated measure has been adopted to bring all the overseas returnees and other suspects under home quarantine to curb the virus spread, he added.

There is 2,400 tonnes more rice and Taka 81 lakh cash in hand for distribution at present, he added.

Two suffering from fever, cold die in Suhrawardy hospital

Two people suffering from fever, cold and cough have died in the isolation unit of Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital in the capital.

Both the men were aged around 50, said the hospital Director Dr Uttam Kumar Barua yesterday. He, however, did not disclose their identities considering the case of social safety.

“Two patients with fever, runny nose and cough died in the isolation unit of this hospital in last two days," he said, adding that samples of the deceased were sent to the IEDCR for test.

"We've received one report that came negative for the novel coronavirus, while we’re yet to get the remaining one," he informed.

Youth dies with fever, abdominal pain in Feni

A young man, who had been suffering from fever, abdominal pain and respiratory problems for the last few days, died at his residence in Pashchim Chhanua village under Sadar upazila of Feni on Wednesday.

Locals said the 30-year-old had respiratory problems since his childhood. Moreover, he had been suffering from fever and abdominal pain for the last few days.

As he visited Feni General Hospital on Monday, doctors provided him with first aid and suggested home-stay.

At one stage, he died at his own residence Wednesday afternoon.

Omar Haidar, in-charge of Bogdadia Police Outpost, said on information, they recovered the body and sent it to the hospital morgue for autopsy.

Dr Sajjad Hossain, civil surgeon of the district, said they informed the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) about the death.

Elderly man suffering from fever dies in Laxmipur

A 70-year-old man, suffering from fever, cold and cough, died in Kamankhola under Sadar upazila of Laxmipur Wednesday night.

Civil Surgeon Dr Abdul Gaffar said the man had been suffering from fever and cold for the last two days. He had some other complications including high blood pressure. The man felt unwell around 8pm and died before he was taken to Sadar Upazila Health Complex, said Dr Gaffar.

A medical team collected samples from the deceased for coronavirus test.  The local administration later put the house under lockdown.

Child died in coronavirus isolation ward buried

A child, who died at the coronavirus isolation unit at Mohammad Ali Hospital in Bogura, was laid to rest at his family graveyard in presence of police at Dari Sonakania in Gabtoli upazila on Wednesday night.

All of them, who took part at the namaj-e-janaza of the child, were wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), said Rawnak Zahan, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO).

Three houses were put under lockdown in the area, said UNO.  

The 13-year-old, undergoing treatment at the coronavirus isolation unit, died Wednesday evening, said Civil Surgeon Dr Gausul Azim Chowdhury.

The child was admitted to the unit at 3:30pm and died about three hours later.

73 Bangladeshi Tabligh activists in Delhi quarantine

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen yesterday said an estimated 73 Bangladeshis were quarantined as Indian authorities detained in isolation some 2,000 Tabligh activists at the religious mission’s headquarters in Delhi, fearing it to have turned into a COVID-19 cluster.

“Our High Commission in Delhi has reported that 73 of the quarantined people at the Tabligh Jamaat’s main centre are Bangladeshis,” he told BSS.

He, however, added that Dhaka was yet to confirm about the total number of Bangladeshi Tabligh activists who reportedly spread in different parts of India defying COVID-19 alarms and restrictions along with Indians and nationals representing some other countries.

“Dhaka has no information about their whereabouts either in India,” Momen said when asked about of the Indian home ministry official, who stated that 493 Bangladeshis were now in India as part of the Tabligh Jamaat’s religious mission.

Momen said the report was embarrassing for Dhaka as the Bangladeshi nationals visibly violated the COVID-19 restrictions while other reports suggested that the Tabligh Jamaat’s main centre at Delhi’s Nizamuddin area virtually turned to be a COVID-19 cluster.

The foreign minister, however, said Dhaka planned to return nearly 1,000 Bangladeshis who went to India on other purposes and stayed stranded there.

He said that Dhaka would as well take back the Bangladeshi Tabligh activists in India, who were tested COVID negative and send them to mandatory 14-day home quarantine upon their return.

He said the foreign ministry asked the Bangladesh mission in Delhi to prepare a list of stranded Bangladeshis for their return under a special arrangement in their own cost.

A three-day Tabligh Jamaat event was held from March 13 to 15 in Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, where many attendees were tested Covid-19 positive after their evacuation from the site recently.

Meanwhile, Indian media reports said Tabligh headquarters called back all the foreign Tabligh teams, who spread across India in line with the country’s home ministry’s directive.

On Wednesday, the Indian home ministry said as many as, 2,000 foreigners from 70 countries including 493 from Bangladesh, who went to India on Tabligh mission spread over several Indian states as potential carriers of COVID-19.

According to the Indian home office, of the Tabligh activists on tour across the country, 472 were Indonesians, 150 were Malaysians and 142 were Thai nationals.



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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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