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7 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 April, 2020 01:03:34 PM

‘Next 30 days critical to curb virus’

3 deaths, 35 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours
‘Next 30 days critical to curb virus’
Some dwellers of Narayanganj city scramble up a blockade put up by authorities concerned as part of limiting the movement of people, risking transmission of coronavirus in the communities. STAR MAIL PHOT

The next 30 days are critical as the country may be able to get rid of this pandemic if people stay safe and careful during this period, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said yesterday as the country witnessed 3 deaths and 35 new cases in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) confirmed three more deaths from the novel coronavirus yesterday, raising the country’s death toll to 12.

A total of 35 new COVID-19 patients were identified – 30 male and 5 female – in the last 24 hours, said Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), at an online briefing. This raised the total number of infected persons to 123. Some 468 samples were collected and tested in the last 24 hours.

On Sunday, 18 new cases were confirmed by the IEDCR.

So far, 4,011 coronavirus tests have been performed in the country, according to IEDCR. Speaking at a special meeting on the coronavirus with government and private organisations from the healthcare sector, the health minister provided assurance that the government would take all the necessary steps in this regard.

At the meeting held at Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons (BCPS) in the capital’s Mohakhali area, the health minister reported four deaths and 29 new patients in the last 24 hours. Later, the DGHS updated the information during its regular briefing on the coronavirus situation.

During the online briefing, IEDCR director Dr Meerjady said, “One of the three deceased patients was undergoing treatment at the hospital from March 30. His family members have been placed in quarantine. The other two deceased are from Narayanganj. We are thinking about locking down Narayanganj as it appears to be a virus hotspot at present.”

“Of the total infected patients, 64 are from Dhaka, 23 from Narayanganj, and the rest are from other areas,” she said.

“No patient has recovered in the last 24 hours. Among the newly infected, 11 are 41–50 years old and six are 21–30

years old,” she added.

DGHS Director General Dr Azad said: “In the last 24 hours, 709 people were

placed in home quarantine and 30 in institutional quarantine. In total, 68,810 people were placed in quarantine. Of them, 55,780 have been released. So, a total of 11,330 individuals are in quarantine at present.

“A total of 67,201 calls were received in the last 24 hours regarding the coronavirus. So far, health institutions across the country have received 1,441,793 such calls,” he added.

 The DG also said some 13,262 doctors have received coronavirus-related training and 2,147 among them are serving COVID-19 patients over telephone.

“COVID-19 patients have been detected in 15 districts across the country. But the four clusters are located in Dhaka (64 patients), Narayanganj (23 patients), Madaripur (11 patients), and Gaibandha (5 patients),” Dr Azad added.

ACC director dies of COVID-19

Jalal Saifur Rahman, director (administration) of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), died yesterday morning around 7:30am after being infected with the novel coronavirus. He passed away at the Kuwait–Bangladesh Friendship Hospital in the capital, sources within the anti-graft commission said. Kuwait–Bangladesh Friendship Hospital coordinator Dr Shihab Uddin said: “The ACC official was in the intensive care unit (ICU). His condition deteriorated last night. He breathed his last this morning. He had been battling for life over the last six days in the hospital.”

Rahman had tested positive for the coronavirus seven days ago and had been undergoing treatment at the hospital, said the hospital’s administrative officer. The ACC official belonged to the 22nd BCS cadre and resided on Elephant Road in the capital. He was admitted to the hospital on March 30. His family members have been placed in quarantine.

Ten officials of the ACC have also been home quarantined following the official’s death, ACC sources said.

26 Bangladeshi COVID-19 patients found in Singapore in a day

Twenty-six Bangladeshi expatriates in Singapore have been diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 4 alone, pushing the total number of infected expatriates to 74, according to the Singapore Ministry of Health website and the Bangladesh high commission.

A media report quoted Bangladesh high commissioner in Singapore Md Mostafizur Rahman as saying: “The number of infected people in Singapore shot up from the end of last month, including the Bangladeshis living here. But none of these Bangladeshi expatriates are in critical condition.”

“The Singapore government has taken all the necessary measures to ensure proper healthcare for them. The Bangladesh high commission is providing active support,” he added.

While a few of the infected expatriates are being treated within hospitals, most are in quarantine.

Elderly man dies in isolation in Faridpur

An elderly man with coronavirus symptoms died yesterday morning. He had been placed in isolation at Faridpur Medical College Hospital.

The deceased was a 70-year-old from Madhukhali upazila.

Hospital director Md Saifur Rahman said: “The patient was admitted to the hospital a few days ago with kidney and respiratory problems.”

“As he had symptoms of the coronavirus, doctors admitted him to the isolation unit on Sunday. He died around 8:30am this morning,” he said, adding that the deceased’s samples had been sent to Dhaka for tests.

Madhukhali upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Md Mostafa Monwar said: “Upon receiving information on the matter, we immediately placed 50 individuals from four houses in the area under home quarantine.”

“The deceased’s body will be buried under the supervision of the local administration,” he added.

44 Bangladeshis return home from India

Forty-four Bangladeshis who had been stuck in West Bengal in India finally returned home through Benapole under special arrangements yesterday.

They had been stranded in Kolkata since March 26 following the suspension of passenger crossing between the two countries.

Dr Habibur Rahman, health officer of the Benapole checkpost, said that the Bangladeshis entered the country between yesterday morning and afternoon. “They will be quarantined at a community centre of Benapole municipality,” he added.

In the last four days, 185 Bangladeshis have returned to the country.

Businesses in cities, district towns to close early

Shops and business establishments, including eateries, across 13 cities and district towns will close early every evening to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The local administrations and police of 13 cities and districts yesterday issued separate directives which will come into effect immediately, said a media report.

Only medicine shops remain out of the purview of these directives.

The cities and districts are Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Mymensingh, Cumilla, Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Kushtia, Pabna, Faridpur, Khulna, and Thakurgaon.

As per most of the directives, shops and businesses will have to close by 5:00pm. The closing time in Chattogram is 7:00pm, while in Thakurgaon it is 7:30pm and in Sunamganj 5:30pm.

In Chattogram, the owners of shops and grocery stores were instructed to remain closed for 11 hours from every evening, Chattogram Metropolitan Police commissioner Md Mahbubor Rahman said in an order on Sunday night.

Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media and public) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said: “The Dhaka Metropolitan Police has issued the directive to all units. Officers and members of the metropolitan police unit have already visited the shops and informed shop owners.”

Closure of shopping malls in capital extended

The Dhaka Metropolitan Shop Owners’ Association yesterday decided to extend the closure of all shopping complexes and malls in the capital till April 14.

The association’s secretary, Arifur Rahman Tipu, issued a statement urging all shop and mall owners in the city to keep their business houses shut till April 14 as per the government’s instruction. He requested affluent businessmen to stand by the poor in their respective localities during the crisis.

On March 22, shopping complexes and malls across the country were declared closed from March 25 to 31 in view of the coronavirus outbreak. This was later extended to April 4.

After father, son tests positive in Chattogram

Chattogram recorded its second COVID-19 case—the 25-year-old son of the city’s first patient.

The first patient, 67, hailed from the Dampara area. He had tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday evening after his samples were tested at the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID) in Sitakunda, said DGHS divisional director Dr Hasan Shahriar Kabir.

The homes of the patient and his neighbours were locked down following detection of this first coronavirus case. Three of the man’s relatives, including his son, were tested. The son tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, said Dr ANM Minhazur Rahman.





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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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