Total infected case rises to 48
In the last 24 hours, four people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the country, with two of them being physicians.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed that till now three doctors and two nurses have been infected.
IEDCR Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora made the announcement while addressing an online press briefing on Friday.
With the latest development, the number of total coronavirus patients in the country stands at 48.
However, there was no report of any new death from the disease in the country.
Bangladesh has so far confirmed five deaths from Covid-19, a new strain of coronavirus, which according to worldometer has infected 536,454 people and claimed the lives of 24,113 people till 1pm Friday. 124,395 infected people have also recovered across the world.
"Not all the doctors got infected with the virus while providing healthcare services. They are a part of the community, some of them were also infected from there," she said.
Flora, however, recognized that physicians are now at high risk due to the prevailing situation.
The IEDCR is giving more importance to such cases (related to physicians), she added.
Source of infection of one person remains a mystery
The IEDCR director said: "A total of 106 tests were done in the last 24 hours. Of those, four tested positive for coronavirus.
One of them, as the institute suspects, might be a case of community transmission in a limited scale.”
"Of the infected four, two hailed from Dhaka and the others from outside it. They are aged between 20 to 60 years.
According to the IEDCR they have conducted some 1026 tests till now, an average of 43.73 tests per day since March 7.
As many as 11 patients, who earlier tested positive for Covid-19, have returned home after making full recovery while 32 others are undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the country.
Asked about community transmission she reiterated her previous comments and said there might be community transmission in a small scale in one of the cases.
To check if anyone else was infected, they are tracing the contacts and testing people showing any symptoms or those who came in contact with the infected person regardless of having symptoms or not, she added.
‘Cleaning dead bodies could be a source of coronavirus spread’
Replying to a question, the IEDCR director Dr Sabrina Flora said those who have died till now were buried under IEDCR supervision with the help of local government and health officials.
“We are ensuring that no contamination would take place during the burial procedure.”
There is a chance of contamination during the bath, as the person who is doing the work needs to go close to the dead body. And so those who are involved in this work must wear personal protective equipment.
The burial is completed following all religious rituals, she added.
Taking all this into consideration there is little chance of spreading coronavirus during the burial process. Still, IEDCR is collecting samples from people involved in the burial process, she said adding that none of them was found to be coronavirus positive.
PPE remains a challenge for health authorities
While acquiring the required PPE (personal protective equipment) is a hectic task for the health authorities, IEDCR director expressed gratitude towards several international and national media and the people who are helping at community level.
Dr Flora said: “Several institutions are helping us in collecting PPE.”
She named international organizations -- WHO, USAID, USCDC, UNICEF, local organizations – Brac, icddr,b, Bangladesh Independent Power Producers’ Association, BGMEA, FBCCI and also mentioned the personal or community effort to distribute handwash, sanitizers and other essential things to the poorer section of the society.
We have already received a good number of PPE from them, she added.
Besides, Temasek Foundation in Singapore has donated 10,000 testing kits and the Chinese government has also provided us with some testing kits and PPEs as well.
On Thursday, Dr Shahriar Sajjad, in-charge of the airport’s medical team, said the equipment sent by China included 10,000 testing kits, 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) and 1,000 infrared thermometers.
She expressed gratitude to all who are assisting the health authorities in tackling the situation.
As per IEDCR, those who should be tested for Covid-19
- Returned expatriate exposing symptoms
- Exposed to someone who has already tested positive
- Symptomatic people aged more than 60 having comorbidity
- Symptomatic people with pre-existing condition
- Having atypical pneumonia
- Serious hospitalized patients with corona syndromes
- Professionals with symptoms who came into contact with different walks of people