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30 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 30 March, 2020 12:10:56 PM

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109 tested in 24 hours, none positive: IEDCR

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
109 tested in 24 hours, none positive: IEDCR

For the second consecutive day, no new COVID-19 patients were detected in the country yesterday as the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and other bodies performed 109 tests in 24 hours. No new deaths were also reported due to novel coronavirus infection. "Some 109 coronavirus tests were performed by IEDCR, Chattogram and other healthcare organisations in the last 24 hours. No new patient was identified in these tests. The total number of infected people in the country remains unchanged at 48 and the number of deaths five," Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of IEDCR, said in a video briefing.

"Among 48 infected patients, 28 are being treated at different hospitals while 15 have recovered and five died from the virus infection," she added.

According to a Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) press release, of the 340 people who were kept in isolation in different hospitals, 284 have returned home while the remaining 56 still remain in isolation at hospitals.

So far, samples from a total of 1,185 people have been tested for novel coronavirus in the country with 48 positive results. Also, a total of 2,115 people were sent to quarantine in the last 24 hours.

Health minister tested negative for coronavirus

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malik has said he tested negative for novel coronavirus.

The minister joined IEDCR's briefing through video conference and talked on general preparedness of government and hospitals and other measures taken by the government to combat the spread of coronavirus.

"I am not infected with coronavirus. My blood sample was tested. As I am not coronavirus positive, I do not need to stay in quarantine. I am working regularly. I am staying home just like others," the minister said.

Earlier on March 26, the IEDCR said an official of the Health Ministry was tested positive for coronavirus. Later, some officials of the ministry were asked to go into home quarantine as they came in contact with the said official. IEDCR said it is trying to identify the people who came in contact with the official.

About the government’s preparedness, Zahid Malik said, “We began our preparations from the first week of January. We started with airport screening, forming four committees including those at national, district and upazila levels, imposed mandatory quarantine, followed treatment protocol and trained doctors and nurses. We are in a very good situation compared to other countries of the world.”

“We have 45,000 testing kits in hand and 85,000 more kits are expected to arrive soon. The government hospitals currently have 500 ventilators with 700 more in private hospitals, and 350 will be added soon. Three lakh personal protective equipment (PPE) have been distributed in different hospitals across the country,” the minister added.

Zahid Malik also said the United Nations expressed satisfaction with Bangladesh’s performance in fighting the coronavirus, but people must follow the directions of DGHS and act with empathy to fight the spread of infection.

Replying to a question about possible gatherings after the end of the closure imposed by the government, Zahid Malik said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will take further decision in this regard.”

Doctors receive training throughout the country

Around 710 doctors and 43 nurses throughout the country have received training on the treatment, prevention, and control of Covid-19.

Dr Md Habibur Rahman, director of Management Information System (MIS) of the DGHS, at the same press briefing, said 264 Sadar and general hospital resident medical officers, civil surgeons, and medical technologists were given training over video conference. The training program ended on Saturday.

Dr Habibur urged people to send their samples to the hospitals with PCR testing facilities if they suspect they are infected with the virus, rather than directly going to hospitals themselves.

“Call 16263 or 333 numbers, or the IEDCR hotline. They will send technologists to collect samples,” he said.

He added: “On some days, these numbers receive more than 100,000 calls which is why someone’s call may not go through.

“We have appointed about 1,100 doctors as volunteers who will take people’s calls if the hotline numbers are busy. An additional 7,000 doctors have registered who will join them soon,” said Dr Habibur.

203 Bangladeshis return from India

At least 203 Bangladeshis have returned home from India through Bhomra Land Port of Satkhira in the last 48 hours, according to immigration police.

Health officials have tested all of them and advised for 14-day home quarantine, said Bishwajit Sarkar, a sub-inspector and also in-charge of Bhomra immigration police.

“We have marked them with stamps bearing the date until which they will have to stay under home quarantine,” Bishwajit Sarkar said.

Death toll of Bangladeshis in US hits 14

Five more Bangladeshis have died from coronavirus infection in New York, US in the last last 24 hours . With this, at least 14 expatriate Bangladeshis died in the last nine days in New York.

However, the Bangladeshi community in New York suspects that the death toll may be higher than that.

Local Journalist Nihar Siddiqui told a newspaper that so far he has received death news of 12 Bangladeshis from coronavirus.

There are around 60,000 Bangladeshis in the US and the New York metropolitan area is home to the largest Bangladeshi population in the country.

Cox’s Bazar’s coronavirus patient referred to Dhaka

A coronavirus patient being treated at the corona isolation unit of Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital has been referred to Dhaka.

Medical Superintendent of Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital, Dr Md Mohiuddin said, “Treating the patient here at the Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital has become a challenge as she is suffering from asthma and other health complications even before being diagnosed with the virus.”

Earlier, The 75 year-old, recently returned to the country after performing Umrah along with her children on March 13. Then she started developing symptoms. She was later admitted to Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital, hiding the information of her travel.

However, on March 22, doctors sent her medical samples to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research for confirmation after they discovered she had recently returned from abroad.

6 held for spreading coronavirus rumours in Dhaka

Police have arrested six people from Dhaka’s Shahbagh and Ramna areas for spreading rumours and misleading information on the coronavirus outbreak, using leaflets.

Shahbagh police station Officer-in Charge (OC), Abul Hasan said: “An old man was arrested from the area while he was distributing leaflets on Saturday evening.

“The man had hundreds of leaflets in his possession. The leaflets had a contact address, where we are investigating now.”

Meanwhile, five others distributing the same leaflet were arrested from Ramna area. They are also being interrogated, the OC added.

In primary interrogation, the arrestees admitted that different groups in 32 pick-up vans are distributing such leaflets in the city, among which police have seized one.

Bangladeshi in Qatar becomes first COVID-19 victim in country

The first coronavirus death reported in Qatar on Saturday noon, was a Bangladeshi national who died while undergoing treatment at Hamad Hospital.

The victim was identified as Dilip Kumar Roy, hailing from Srimangal upazila under Moulvibazar district and the owner of Dilip complex in Bhairabganj Bazar.

Dilip Roy’s son Hriday Dev said his father was admitted to Doha Hamad Hospital in Qatar on March 16 with cough and shortness of breath. Later, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He died at around 5 pm on March 28.

5 Bangladeshis infected in Germany

A total of five Bangladeshis have tested positive for coronavirus in Germany, three of them male and two female.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Imtiaz Ahmed said one of them was in a critical condition and kept at the ICU.

The ambassador said three of the five victims are from the same family in Berlin. The other two are from Munich and Munster. Two of the patients are in the 40s while the other three are under 30s, he added.

Market closure extended till April 4

All markets, super shops, shopping malls and retail shops across the country will remain closed until April 4, as the duration has been extended for four more days.

Bangladesh Shop Owners Association took the decision as a precautionary measure to contain coronavirus infection in the country, said a press release signed by its Secretary General Zahirul Haque Bhuiyan.

Earlier on March 22, the association decided to keep markets and super markets closed from March 25 to 31.

However, the vegetable shops/markets, shops of essential commodities and medicine shops will remain open during this time.  

Govt bans flights from 10 nations till April 15

The government has informed all diplomatic missions abroad, UN agencies, and other international organizations that no international airport in Bangladesh will be allowed to operate flights from 10 nations till April 15.

The countries are Bahrain, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, and the UAE.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the announcement over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic through a note verbale received on Saturday night.

However, the note also said commercial flights to and from China, Hong Kong, Thailand and UK will continue operation until further notice.

At the same time, it also mentioned that national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines will not operate flights to and from the UK, in both London and Manchester, for seven days from March 30.

On Saturday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) extended the suspension of passenger flights to all countries except the United Kingdom and China till April 7 amid the global outbreak of coronavirus. On March 15, Bangladesh suspended on-arrival visas for all countries for two weeks. Passengers from all European countries except the UK will not be allowed to enter Bangladesh until March 31.

BPO transports PPEs, test kits to civil surgeon offices

Bangladesh Post Office (BPO) is transporting personal protective equipment (PPE) for physicians, test kits and awareness leaflets to Civil Surgeon Offices across the country without any charge from the Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD).

BPO took the initiative at the directive of Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Saturday in the wake of growing concerns over the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the country, said a ministry release here today.

BPO is transporting the emergency medical equipment to Civil Surgeon Offices of 64 districts through 60 covered vans. BPO’s Inspector level officials are handing over the equipment.

The posts and telecommunications minister has directed the BPO Directed General to monitor the delivery services.

517 expats home-quarantined in Khulna division

A total of 517 returnees were asked to home-quarantine in the last 24 hours in Khulna division to prevent community transmission of coronavirus.

Assistant Director (Disease Control) of DGHS in Khulna division, Dr. Ferdousi Akther said, a total of 517 expatriates have been kept under the home-quarantine in last 24 hours in all ten districts of Khulna.

Among the 517 expatriates, 33 expatriates have been placed at home -quarantine in Khulna, 13 in Bagerhat, 232 in Satkhira, 116 in Jashore, 11 in Jhenaidah , 3 in Magura, 52 in Narail, 11 in Kustia, 38 in Chuadanga and 8 in Meherpur districts in the division.

“A total of 11,001 expatriates were quarantined at homes so far in Khulna division and of them, 578 were given clearance in last 24 hours after their stay in home quarantine for 14 days without symptoms of coronavirus,” she said.

Five houses under ‘lockdown’ in Jashore

Five houses in Chaugachha upazila of Jashore have been kept under a state of lockdown upon information of a suspicious coronavirus patient, who is now in isolation at Jashore General Hospital.

Mohammad Shafiul Arif, deputy commissioner (DC) of the district, confirmed this.

He, however, did not use the term lockdown, saying that the five houses were put under surveillance as a suspected woman from the area was taken in isolation at Jashore General Hospital.

“She was yet to be found coronavirus positive, but the sample was sent to the IEDCR for examination,” he told last night.

The houses were kept in quarantine, he further said.

Local sources said three houses under ward number 7 of Chaugachha Municipality, a house in Hakimpur village and another house in the same area were ‘locked down’ yesterday afternoon after a young woman, aged around 18 years, was taken to isolation with symptoms of COVID -19.

She was first taken to the local upazila health complex and then shifted to Jashore General Hospital.

Rifat Khan Rajib, officer in-charge of Chaugachha police station, told that the houses were taken under special surveillance.

 

 

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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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