POST TIME: 19 February, 2020 01:06:55 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 February, 2020 01:21:06 PM
No infection in 72 people tested so far: IEDCR

No infection in 72 people 
tested so far: IEDCR

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) said no person in the country has so far been infected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) as all 72 samples of suspected cases tested by the institute so far for the virus turned out negative.

Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Director of IEDCR, revealed the information at a press briefing held at her office in the capital yesterday. She said that six other patients with suspected symptoms are currently being tested. She was hopeful that these six tests will also turn out negative.

Dr Meerjady said, “We are also urging all to not reveal the identities of the returnees from China or Singapore. They might face social stigma if their names and addresses are published. We all must bear this in mind”

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen yesterday handed over some medical logistics to Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming as a goodwill gesture from Bangladesh to China.

Ten lakh hand gloves, five lakh facemasks, 1.5 lakh caps, one lakh hand sanitizers, 50,000 shoe-covers and 8,000 gowns are among the provided medical logistics.

Meanwhile, the first batch of the ‘most advanced kits’ to detect coronavirus or

COVID-19, donated by China, is set to arrive here this evening.

The kits, originally scheduled to arrive by a flight of China Airlines at around 3:30pm yesterday, will now arrive this evening due to flight change, Yan Hualong, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister (Counselor) of Chinese Embassy, told UNB. China is providing 500 sets of what it calls, the ‘most advanced kits’, to Bangladesh to identify coronavirus as a goodwill gesture and strong faith that Bangladesh has in China in winning the battle against COVID-19.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen were, among others, present at the function held at state guesthouse Padma yesterday afternoon.

In a recent letter written to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her firm conviction that the government of China will be able to face and stop the aggravation of the situation with utmost capacity and control.

Hasina assured that the people and government of Bangladesh are with the friendly people and the government of China to address the crisis.

Briefing reporters on Monday, Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming said, “Even at its most difficult times, China never forgets to lend a helping hand,” said the Chinese Ambassador.

He said the embassy just ordered 500 test kits from Beijing Genomics Institute to help enhance Bangladesh’s capacity to detect coronavirus. The kits will be handed over to Bangladesh on Tuesday, he had said. “These are real-time fluorescent RT-PCR kits for detecting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are the first such donation to any country from China,” said Yan Hualong.

He said more such kits will be provided if any case is confirmed in Bangladesh. Foreign Minister Momen said China has been very helpful to Bangladesh throughout the process and recalled Chinese government’s support in bringing back 312 Bangladesh nationals from Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.