Bangladesh increases target groups to test for coronavirus

Dhaka, March 27 – The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has changed the pattern of collecting sample for test to find out if anyone becomes patient of COVID-19 as well as infected with the novel coronavirus.According to IEDCR’s Director Professor Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Previously, the institute used to collect samples of only expatriates or who has connection with any abroad returnee.
“But now as the virus is spreading alarmingly, we are collecting samples from old pneumonia patients, sick elderly citizens specially who are 60+ aged, and other suspected people with corona symptoms including the healthcare workers,” she said at an online press briefing yesterday.
Apart from IEDCR, the testing facility has been extended to Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Public Health Institution and Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Disease (BITID) in Chattogram, the IEDCR Director reiterated.
Four new tested positive including 2 doctors
The government’s disease control agency, IEDCR has confirmed that four more people have tested positive with coronavirus, taking the number of the confirmed cases to 48 as two are doctors among the four.
Professor Meerjady said, “In the past 24 hours, four more people have been diagnosed with the virus and the total number of confirmed cases is so far 48. Three of the newly-infected patients came in contact with a previously-infected patient, and we’re still tracking the source of infection of the fourth one. However, no patient died from the virus in the last 24 hours.”
Eleven people of out 48, who tested positive, were released from hospitals and five died from the virus so far. Now 32 people are taking treatment at different hospitals, the IEDCR director said.
“Two of the four newly-infected patients are from outside of Dhaka and two are within. Two patients have comorbidites but so far all the patients, including these four, are in stable condition. One of the patients is aged between 20 to 30, one between 31 to 40, one between 41 to 50 and one between 51 to 60,” Meerjady said.
Replying to a question, Dr Flora said, “The healthcare workers are at high risk as they stay close to the infected patients. But they are not always infected by the patients, there are some cases of community transmission too.”
“We are collecting samples immediately after receiving any call from healthcare workers,” she added.
“We are emphasizing on preventing virus spread from the body of any dead coronavirus patient. Only risk of getting infected from the dead body of a coronavirus patient is while bathing it. Those who perform the ritual of the burial wear personal protective equipment and all religious rituals are followed at this time,” Dr Meerjady said further.
Till yesterday, a total of three physicians and two nurses have been diagnosed with the virus infection, according to the institute.
She also mentioned that so far more than a thousand people have been tested for the viral infection. “In the past 24 hours, 3,321 calls have been made to the IEDCR hotline. During this period, 106 samples were tested. So far, a total of 1,026 samples have been tested,” the director said.
Control room in every district
Professor Meerjady said, “Earlier, only IEDCR had a control room for addressing the queries of people but they have launched control rooms in every district and upazila in a bid to help people and make them aware, she said.
On top of that a combined control room was launched under the supervision of Directorate General of Health Services where different organisations are working to mitigate the crisis.
She also mentioned that hotlines have been set up to reach the IEDCR at the district level.
Village of Pabna goes to lockdown
The local administration in Pabna has placed the Katakhali village in Chatmohar upazila under lockdown after 64 people entered from Dhaka, Chittagong and Madaripur in last two days.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and Executive Magistrate Sarkar Mohammad Raihan announced the lockdown yesterday.
The coronavirus awareness committee came to know of a huge number of people entering the village from the locals and informed the local administration. The UNO said all the residents of the village must stay in their respective homes for two weeks and no one will be allowed to enter or leave the village during the period.
He said: “If anyone violates the rules of quarantine, strict action will be taken against the individual.”
Chatmohar police OC Sheikh Nasir Uddin said members of village police have been deployed since the morning (Friday) in this regard.
Youth suspected to have Coronavirus kept in isolation in Chandpur
A youth has been admitted to a hospital on suspicion of coronavirus affected and kept in an isolation unit in Chandpur.
People brought to the youth to the 250-bed government hospital in Chandpur at around 11 am yesterday. Later, the doctor noticed the symptoms of coronavirus infection and took him to the isolation unit.
Chandpur Sadar Hospital RMO, Dr. Sujaodoula Rubel said that he had been transferred to the Isolation Unit after observing the symptoms. It can be learned whether the patient is coronavirus infected or not after a proper test.
151 more overseas returnees in home quarantine in Satkhira
A total of 151 people, who returned home from abroad recently, were sent to home quarantine in last 24 hours in Satkhira district.
With this, a total of 2052 overseas returnees remained in home quarantine in last 11 days in the district. Besides, one has remained in isolation unit of Satkhira Sadar Hospital.
Information Officer of Satkhira District Health Division, Dr. Joyonta Sarkar confirmed the matter and said among the overseas returnees who were kept in home quarantine in last 24 hours, 33 in Satkhira sadar upazila, 39 in Kalaroa, 7 in Tala, 7 in Kaliganj, 36 in Shyamnagar, 21 in Ashashuni and 8 in Debhata, he said.
Coronavirus: Govt order on monitoring TV channels scrapped
The government has scrapped an order on monitoring the television coverage of the coronavirus outbreak by private channels. The Secretariat issued a notice in this regard on Thursday.
Earlier on Wednesday (Mar 25), the information ministry issued a notice saying that a team of 15 public servants of deputy secretary rank will monitor nearly 30 television channels in a bid to curb rumours.
The new notice, however, said that the previous order has been scrapped and a cell has been formed to monitor and curb any rumour or misinformation circulating on social media and mainstream publications. – Staff Reporter