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NGOs, public health experts propose measures to fight coronavirus situation

  • Published at 01:42 pm April 6th, 2020
coronavirus image-the virus
A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication, together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to Covid-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020 Reuters

The professionals, including public health experts, NGO leaders, and macroeconomists, also proposed short and medium term actions to assist the government in its battle against the crisis posed by the pandemic

A group of professionals from three communities have offered to extend their expertise to the government to help people avail assistance to tackle the ongoing coronavirus situation and future challenges.

The professionals, including public health experts, NGO leaders, and macroeconomists, also proposed short and medium term actions to assist the government in its battle against the crisis posed by the pandemic.

They made the call at a media briefing, led by BRAC Bangladesh Chairperson and PPRC Executive Chairperson Hossain Zillur Rahman, in Dhaka on Sunday, said a press release on Monday.

For the health sector, the experts proposed forming strategies for identifying hotspots through proxy-indicator data and strengthening testing facilities, forming a national task force on coronavirus response, morale boosting initiatives for the healthcare force through fast-tracking provision of PPE and motivational messaging, and getting non-government and social organizations involved in creating awareness of people on health issues.

In the economic arena, they proposed implementing a food-security safety net program from the stimulus announced by the government for the extreme poor belonging to the informal sector.

“The health system also needs strengthening and extending corona-centric health-awareness programs for a longer period for creating awareness of the people is another target,” the statement added.

At the same time, the professionals also proposed formation of a high-level experts’ panel drawn from government and non-government sectors, especially economists, who will mainly work on formulating a medium-term scenario projection and mitigation action plan.

“The experts’ panel can also help identify the proper channels to ensure that stimulus packages reach their target people smoothly,” they suggested.

They also said the call to action was part of their concern to combine efforts and underscore the urgency of action.

Among others, the call to action was issued by Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) Executive Director Rasheda K Chowdhury, BMA former president and BSMMU Professor (Surgery) Dr Rashid E Mahbub, former health secretary and PPRC Senior Fellow AMM Nasiruddin, DGHS former director general Dr MA Faiz, PRI Executive Director and BRAC Bank Chairman Ahsan H Mansur, Bangladesh Bank former governor Atiur Rahman, BRAC Executive Director Asif Saleh, Action Aid Country Director Farah Kabir, BRAC University Adviser for JPG School of Public Health Ahmed Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury, BIGD Executive Director Imran Matin, PPRC Senior Fellow and BBS former director general Mohammad Abdul Wazed, DSK Executive Director Dr Dibalok Singha, Dhaka Ahsania Mission Executive Director M Ehsanur Rahman, and former cabinet secretary Md Abdul Karim.

As of Monday, Bangladesh officially confirmed 13 deaths from coronavirus (Covid-19) infection, while 29 others tested positive in the last 24 hours, the highest in a day so far, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 117 across the country.

The fast spreading coronavirus, which was first reported in China's Wuhan, has claimed 69,501 lives and infected 1,275,000 people across the world till date, according to Worldometers.

As many as 265,887 people have recovered from Covid-19, a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, which has spread to 208 countries and territories across the planet.

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