Total number of confirmed cases climbs to 2,948
The death toll from the deadly coronavirus infection has crossed the 100 mark in Bangladesh, with 10 new fatalities in the last 24 hours.
The total number of deaths now stands at 101.
Bangladesh is the latest among 47 countries in the world to have witnessed 100 fatalities or more from Covid-19 till date. Nearly 210 countries and areas are suffering from the disease caused by a strain of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
In another development, for the third consecutive day Bangladesh recorded the highest number of cases in the last 24 hours, with 492 people testing positive for Covid-19.
Till now there are 2,948 confirmed cases. Of them, over a third tested positive (1,110) over the last three days.
Prof Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general (admin) at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), revealed the latest figures at an online press briefing in Dhaka on Monday.
Nasima Sultana stated that among the fresh deaths – eight men and two women – four were above the age of 60, four others were aged between 51 and 60, and the rest between 41 and 50.
Of the deceased, five were from Dhaka, four from Narayanganj, and one was from Narsingdi, said Nasima.
Referring to the steady rise in the number of positive cases as a “crisis,” Nasima said: "We are really going through a great crisis as the positive cases are too many."
Interestingly, Health Minister Zahid Maleque has reportedly said at least 8 times - 'there is no reason for panic'. He once said there was 'nothing to fear' and once 'no matter of concern'. All these statements were made between January 28 and March 23.
The DGHS additional DG said as many as 2,779 samples had been tested in the last 24 hours, the highest in a single day, taking the total number of tests to 26,604.
In order to stem the community transmission of Covid-19, the health official urged the law enforcement agencies and organizations concerned to take strict measures to make the nationwide shutdown more effective.
Poor recovery rate
Another 10 people have recovered from the disease, raising the total number of recoveries to 85, of the 2,948 infected, making the rate of recovery almost 3%.
As of filing this report till 8pm, according to Worldometer, a reference website that provides counters and real-time statistics on diverse topics, the global recovery rate is more than 26%.
Some 2,762 are undergoing treatment in designated hospitals.
Gazipur: The new cluster
Gazipur has recorded 106 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, making it the next cluster after Dhaka and Naraynganj.
Gazipur district officials revealed the information at a discussion on the current coronavirus situation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina via video conference on Monday.
At least 279 persons have been infected so far in Gazipur.
“Gazipur has been identified as a new cluster for coronavirus as a large number of positives were found in the district,” Nasima Sultana said later in the daily online health bulletin.
She said Dhaka and Narayanganj had the maximum number of positive cases.
As of Monday
, Dhaka city alone had 1,174 cases and Narayanganj 387 cases.
Controversy over N95
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the authorities concerned to strengthen monitoring so that genuine masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) could be supplied to prevent the coronavirus transmission.
“Boxes carry the labels ‘N-95 Mask’. But you’ve to look into whether the materials inside the boxes are genuine,” she said while talking to the high officials of the health sector via video conference from Ganabhaban.
The prime minister stressed the need for strengthening monitoring, with focus on whether the suppliers were providing the right materials, reports UNB.
“Those who receive these [PPE] should check them properly [things inside the boxes],” she said.
Noting that the PPEs recently delivered to Mohanagar Hospital might not be the right ones, Sheikh Hasina said she had recently sent a photo to the health minister in this regard.
Health Services Division Secretary Md Ashadul Islam, DGHS DG Prof Abul Kalam Azad, Director of Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) Brig Gen Md Shahidullah and other high officials attended the online meeting.
Brig Gen Md Shahidullah said the CMSD had received 14,67,040 PPEs as of Sunday. Of them, 10,93,119 PPEs had already been distributed and 3,73,921 were in store, he said.
He said 70% of the PPEs were collected locally, while 30% were imported from foreign sources, particularly China.
The CMSD director said N-95 masks were not available at present. But masks “KN-95,” “FFP-2,” or “P-2” were equivalent to N-95 in terms of quality. The CMSD received a stock of 200,000 such masks, which were now being distributed, he said.
The video conference was organized to discuss the current situation in light of the coronavirus pandemic with government officials and public representatives of eight districts – four under Dhaka division and four under Mymensingh division.
DGHS sources said in case of critical Covid-19 patients, special facilities, including oxygen, ICU, and dialysis units, were needed in hospitals. At present, the country has 192 ICUs and 40 dialysis units.
As of 9pm Monday, a total of 2,430,733 Covid-19 infections were recorded worldwide. The virus has claimed 166,271 lives while as many as 637,361 people have recovered.