Bangladesh reports 15 more deaths, 266 fresh cases from COVID-19

Published: ১৮/০৪/২০

Bangladesh today reported 15 more deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the highest so far in a single day, and 266 fresh positive cases overnight, BSS reports. “Fifteen more COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll from the pandemic to 75,” Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque told a virtual media briefing at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in the city through joining it online. The minister said 266 more people tested positive for the lethal virus in the country during the time which took the total number of coronavirus cases to 1838. He said the total number of recovered patients have now stood at 56 as nine patients were cured from the disease over the past 24 hours.

Additional Director General (administration) of DGHS Prof Nasima Sultana and IEDCR Director Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora also addressed the briefing. The IEDCR director called Dhaka and Narayanganj COVID-19 “hotspots” as maximum number of cases were detected in the two cities. Among the 1838 COVID-19 positive cases, 46 percent are in Dhaka and 20 percent in Narayangang. Coronavirus positive cases have sharply increased in Gazipur, Mymensingh, Munshiganj, Chattogram and Keraniganj, she said. Flora said COVID-19 infected patients were found in almost all areas in the capital, adding Mirpur with 11 percent positive cases topped in the list of patients, followed by Mohammadpur and Jatrabari with four percent each.  Analyzing age-wise infected cases, the IEDCR director said 21 percent patients are between 21 to 30, 19 percent between 31 to 40 and 15 percent between 41 and 50.

Among the total cases, she said, 68 percent are male and 32 percent female. Flora said 68 percent patients are receiving treatment from their homes, while 32 percent from hospitals. Referring to the WHO’s instructions, the IEDCR director said mild infected patients should take treatment from their homes and they must stay at home isolation. In such cases, family members have to maintain safe distancing from the patients, she said. Flora urged the COVID-19 positive patients with mild symptoms not to visit hospital or get admitted, which will eventually reduce pressure on hospitals creating a scope for providing treatment of critical cases. Analyzing infected history of COVID-19 cases, she said rampant movements of coronavirus patients are mainly responsible for being infected with virus. The IEDCR director called upon all to stay at home alongside following hygienic practices including washing hands with soap and wearing masks to contain COVID-19.

The health minister said as part of increasing medical facilities for COVID-19 patients, the government is preparing six infrastructures as isolation centres with required facilities including 4500 beds. “We’re also working on an urgent basis to prepare both government and private hospitals as dedicated ones for COVID-19 patients in the country,” he added. Maleque said the government has extended the nationwide holiday till 25 April as part of social isolation measures to contain the spread of the virus. “All should stay at home during the period to protect themselves from the infection of the lethal virus,” he said. In order to deal increased COVID-19 patients, the minister said said the government will import nearly 500 ventilators and 500 oxygenators on an emergency basis, although the world is facing such essential equipment crisis in the wake of the pandemic.

The government has prepared 200-bed hospital at all eight divisions in the country for COVID-19 treatment, he said, adding, “We’re also preparing hospital with 50 to 100-bed capacity at district level for coronavirus treatment. According to the DGHS COVID-19-infected tally, coronavirus cases have increased in the country sharply since April 12 as 139 positive cases were confirmed on April 12, 182 on April 13, 209 on April 14, 219 on April 15, 341 on April 16 and 266 on April 17. It said 1356 COVID-19 positive cases out of the total infected tally of 1838 were detected in the past six days. In line with the government decision to increase sample test of suspected cases to determine how many people are infected by the virus, Nasima said a total of 266 fresh cases were detected after testing 2190 samples through 20 labs across the country over the last 24 hours. Till today we tested a total of 19,077 samples,” she said.

The health official said the government has intensified its efforts including collection of protective equipment such PPE, surgical masks alongside increasing medical facilities for coronavirus-infected patients. She also told the briefing that by now authorities collected over 15 lakh PPE, and of them, they distributed nearly 11 lakh PPE at different hospitals countrywide, while rest PPE are in stock. Nasima said over one lakh people were kept at both home and institutional quarantine and nearly 67,000 people were released from quarantine, while the number of people who currently remain in quarantine is about 37,000.  She said a total of 488 institutions have been prepared across the country for keeping over 26,000 people in quarantine. The health official said doctors, medical technologists and health workers are being imparted training through online as part of the countrywide ongoing training initiatives to provide healthcare facilities to COVID-19 patients and help test of suspected cases for quick confirmation of coronavirus cases.

Nasima said as part of taking preventative measures to stop imported cases of COVID-19, the authorities of all gateways, including airports, land ports and waterways, are continuing to screening of all foreign returnees. The health official said the government by now prepared 7,693 isolation beds at different hospitals in the country to be run under a 23-point health guideline prescribing isolation and quarantine arrangements, PPE usage and hygienic environment. She said till today, over 26 lakh people received healthcare services from hotline mobile numbers and health web portals as the government formed a group of medical professionals to provide emergency health services. The contact hotline and mobile numbers are 16263; 333; 10655 and 01944333222 – to receive information and treatment facilities on COVID-19.

As of April 17, 2020, 10:46 GMT, 147,379 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and there are currently 2,193,580 confirmed cases in 210 countries and territories, according to Worldometer, a reference website that provides counters and real-time statistics for diverse topics. China was the world’s first country which on January 11 reported the first death from the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province, while Bangladesh confirmed its first COVID-19 positive cases on March 8.


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