The other recovered individual has not been released upon his family's request
One of the three coronavirus infected Bangladeshis, who has fully recovered from the infection, has returned home.
IEDCR Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora confirmed this during a press briefing at the DGHS head office auditorium in Dhaka on Friday.
The individual is among two who made full recovery from the virus infection.
The other recovered individual has not been released upon the family's request, she said.
As other members of the person's family are in quarantine at home, returning home now may cause harm to the individual, the IEDCR director added.
The third infected person, however, is still being kept in isolation as he still tested positive for the virus, she said.
Regarding the overall situation prevailing in the country, Dr Sabrina said that considering the sensitivity of the issue, the government has taken a soft and sympathetic approach but the people, especially those returning from abroad, are taking advantage of this.
The IEDCR director issued a warning saying they will consider strictly implementing The Communicable Diseases (Prevention, Control and Eradication) Bill, 2018.
Showing data from different countries, Dr Sabrina said the elderly and people suffering from other long-term health complications are the ones who have mostly died due to Covid-19 and urged everyone to take extra care of the elderly people.
The IEDCR have tested 24 samples in the last 24 hours for Covid-19, and found no new patients. Since January 21, the institute has tested 187 samples.
The coronavirus has claimed over 4,900 lives and more than 134,500 have been infected worldwide, reports Reuters.
KSA-bound expatriates advised taking direct flights
IEDCR director asked expatriates bound for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to take direct flights there to avoid health certificate related complexities.
Dr Sabrina said: “Officials of Saudi Arabian Embassy in Bangladesh have informed our government that Bangladeshi expatriate workers do not need additional health certificates to enter KSA."
However, they have to take direct flights to KSA, she added.
Meanwhile, many Bangladeshi expatriates staying in Middle Eastern countries are anxious as their visas are going to expire soon. The authorities of the respective countries have assured that they will extend the visas.
The new coronavirus helpline number
Government call centre number 333 has been added as a helpline number for any information regarding coronavirus, confirmed IEDCR director Dr Sabrina.
She said at least 4,329 calls were made to the helpline numbers in the last 24 hours and 4,212 of them were regarding coronavirus.
Earlier, the government call centre number 16263 was included with the hotlines and on Thursday the director added 01944333222 as a hunting number which allows a caller to get connected based on the availability of service providers.
Moreover, the institute used its five numbers as helplines previously and later added 13 more numbers in the last few days.
No need to panic
Dr Hammam El Sakka, Team Lead of WHE (World Health Emergency Program) under the World Health Organization (WHO), cited the recent success of China in tackling the coronavirus situation there.
China, despite being the epicentre of coronavirus, has taken down the number of new infection cases to 100, he said.
In his presentation, during an unofficial view sharing program after the briefing, Dr Hammam said: “We need to trust each other. If there is trust, there would be less panic and fighting the epidemic would be much easier.”
Line Director of the Communicable Disease Control unit of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr Shahnila Ferdousi said the government is doing its best to complete their preparation to fight coronavirus in the country.
There are a lot of limitations in terms of facilities in the land ports or at other places where the authorities are trying to ensure a screening, making the process very slow-moving, but the authorities are trying to solve those issues as soon as possible, she added.
At the program, senior reporters working with health issues urged everyone to report responsibly by phrasing news that does not add to the panic.
Director-General of DGHS Dr Md Abul Kalam Azad, WHO Representative to Bangladesh Dr Bardan Jung Rana, Chief of Health of UNICEF Bangladesh Maya Vandenant, and the President of Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum (BHRF) Toufiq Maruf were among others present during the briefing.