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9 March, 2020 01:06:07 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 March, 2020 01:14:52 PM


COVID-19 enters country

2 Italy returnees, one other kept in isolation after testing positive: IEDCR
COVID-19 enters country
A passenger wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, takes a nap as he waits to board his plane at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka yesterday. The IEDCR announced first three cases of coronavirus infection in the country yesterday. AFP Photo

After three months of its detection in China’s Wuhan and over 100,000 affected in about 100 countries claiming more than 3,500 lives, the COVID-19 cases were identified in the country yesterday among Italy returnees.Three persons, including two who recently returned from Italy, have been detected with the novel coronavirus infection in the country. The Institute of Epidemiology, Diseases Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed this yesterday.“They are stable and are being treated in a hospital in isolation,” said IEDCR director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora at her regular press briefing on the coronavirus at the institute in the capital.

Two of the infected persons are Bangladeshi expatriates from separate families who recently returned home from Italy.

The third infected person is a woman, who is a family member of one of the Italy returnees.

“The trio are now undergoing treatment at a hospital for security reasons. We are not disclosing their identities and addresses at the moment. The affected people are aged between 20 and 35 years,” said Dr Meerjady.

“We don’t want to reveal anything more about the patients. Two of them showed symptoms of the virus upon returning to the country. Once we received a call on our hotline, we collected their samples and sent them for testing. The results came back positive,” she also said.

Three others, who came into contact with the infected

people, were later tested for the coronavirus. “One of them tested positive for the virus, but the others were negative,” she added.

The IEDCR director said: “Among the three, one was running only a slight fever (99 degrees F). Another was having dry cough, while the third person was having both cough and fever. Those three are stable now. They could have taken treatment at home. But they are kept in isolation as a precautionary measure.”

“The patients don’t need any special treatment. They are given treatment as per their symptoms. They will be released after recovering fully,” she added.

Dr Meerjady said there was no need to panic right now as the government hoped to keep the situation under control. “It’s not the time to say that the virus will spread across the country. There is no need to close educational institutions yet,” she added.

“So far, 116 people have been tested in the country and five of them in the last 24 hours. We have received 169 calls on our hotline and 156 of them were related to the coronavirus,” she said.

Dr Meerjady, however, asked people to avoid public gatherings and suggested them to stay at home as much as possible. She also urged everybody follow the precautionary measures given by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On March 4, in a bid to prevent Covid-19 from spreading in Bangladesh, the government restricted the entry of people from four countries—Italy, South Korea, Japan, and Kuwait—without virus-free medical certificates.

Meanwhile, the chief health officer of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Mohammad Shahriar, said that passengers from six countries entering Bangladesh must be put in quarantine to stop the spread of the coronavirus. These countries are China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, and Thailand.

“Passengers from these six countries are being examined on thermal scanners at the airport.

Their body temperature is being measured with the scanner. They are given a health declaration forms where they should mention their physical details. Health information cards are being given to them,” he also said.

“Irrespective of whether they have a fever or not, all passengers from these countries must stay in quarantine in their places of residence for 14 days. However, if any passenger is found with a temperature of 100 degrees F or higher during the health check-up at the airport, he/she will be placed directly in the quarantine at the Kuwait Moitri Hospital,” he added. Mohammad Shahriar said wearing hand gloves and masks were compulsory for those who had been on duty at the airport from different organisations.Meanwhile, the government has asked people not to panic but remain careful to stay safe from coronavirus as it entered the country, said a PID handout issued yesterday.

It also advised people to consult physicians if in any symptoms of coronavirus such as fever, throat-ache, dry cough, breathing complications are seen among them,

It also asked people to use mask in crowded places and avoid the contact of pets.

Besides, people have been asked to keep their houses clean and wash their hands after reaching home from outside and take boiled food.

For any suspected case of coronavirus, people have been advised to contact the control room of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) through hotline numbers—01937110011, 019370009111, 01927711784, 01927711785.

The government also asked people to inform the Press Information Department newsroom if any fake news about coronavirus is found on social networking sites. The numbers are 9512246, 9514988, 01715255765, 01716800008 or emailed at





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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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