IEDCR confirms ‘cluster-based’ community transmission
As top health officials continue to deny mass-scale community transmission of coronavirus in Bangladesh, an analysis of the Covid-19 situation has found that only one in every five coronavirus infected patients were returnees from other infected countries.
As of Sunday, a total of 88 people got infected with coronavirus in Bangladesh, but only 16 of them had travelled abroad.
Among the returnees, the highest number of six came from Italy, followed by the three from the United States, and two from Saudi Arabia.
In addition, the positive cases include one each from Germany, Bahrain, India, Kuwait, and France, as per data compiled by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
The data clearly shows people who came in contact with the returnees were largely affected by the spread of the virus.
Is it because of community transmission?
Researchers and health workers around the world are advising everyone to maintain social distancing as it is the only preventive measure that can be taken against this deadly virus.
On March 22, a man died of Covid-19 in Dhaka’s Mirpur area and it was that found that the deceased’s neighbour had also died of the same disease at Delta Medical College and Hospital two days earlier, on March 20.
Surprisingly, none of them were returnees from abroad.
On March 25, IEDCR Director Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora said they suspect community transmission of Covid-19 has been taking place, but on a limited scale.
Some two weeks later, on April 5, when Bangladesh confirmed 18 positive cases in the previous 24 hour span, IEDCR Director Flora confirmed the five clusters identified across the country – Mirpur, Basabo, Narayanganj, Madaripur, and Gaibandha.
"These clusters have a higher number of patients than the rest of the countries... In Basabo, 11 patients have been identified and the same in Mirpur area. We are closely monitoring the cluster areas and taking necessary actions,” she said.
Dr Flora said a cluster-based community transmission of the disease had been taking place in Bangladesh.
However, experts warned that widespread community transmission might start if public gathering is not stopped.
Despite the fact that the people from different communities have been getting infected with the virus, IEDCR still considers returnee expatriates as the major source of the disease transmission.
The rest of the categories for a test include – if a person has been exposed to anyone who had already been tested positive, symptomatic people aged more than 60 having comorbidity, symptomatic people with pre-existing conditions, people with atypical pneumonia, serious hospitalized patients with coronavirus patterns, and professionals with symptoms who came into contact with different walks of people.