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DHAKA: Bangladesh today reported 10 more deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 390 fresh positive cases overnight.
“Ten more COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll from the pandemic to 120,” Additional Director General (administration) of DGHS Prof Nasima Sultana told a virtual media briefing at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in the city.
She said the total number of the COVID-19 cases in the country has jumped to 3772 as 390 more people tested positive for the lethal virus during the period.
Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) Director Brigadier General Mohammad Shahidullah also addressed the briefing.
Bangladesh confirmed the first coronavirus death in the country on March 18, ten days after detection of its first COVID-19 positive cases.
According to the DGHS COVID-19 infection tally, Bangladesh is witnessing a sharp rise of coronavirus cases since April 6 as 3684 people tested positive for the super contagious disease in the last 17 days, while 88 cases were recorded from March 8 to April 5.
Nasima said a total of 29,674 samples have so far been tested since the detection of first COVID-19 cases in the country, adding: “We tested the highest number of 3096 samples in the past 24 hours, 122 more than the previous day.”
As the trend of the coronavirus cases is on the rise in the country, the government is expanding testing facilities to determine the actual number of COVID-19 cases, Nasima said.
The health official informed that at present, there are 21 labs in the country for testing samples of COVID-19.
Among the 10 fatalities, three are in their 60s, two in their 50s and three in their 40s and two in their 20s she said, adding seven of them are male and three female.
Nasima said among the 10 deaths, seven are in Dhaka and one each in Narayanganj, Mymensingh and Tangail.
She said the total number of recovered patients has now stood at 92 as five patients were cured from the disease over the past 24 hours.
The health official said COVID-19 cases were found in 55 districts meaning that almost all regions of the country are now risky for the fatal disease.
Analyzing area-based transmission of the fatal disease, she said coronavirus positive cases have sharply increased in Gazipur, Mymensingh, Munshiganj, Chattogram, Narsingdi and Keraniganj.
Nasima dubbed Dhaka and Narayanganj COVID-19 as “hotspots” as the maximum number of cases were detected in the two cities.
“Gazipur has been identified as a new hotspot for coronavirus as a large number of positive were found there,” she said.
The health official said till now, Dhaka city is still considered as the worst-affected with maximum number of COVID cases, while Dhaka division has remained top position with 77 percent infected cases out of total coronavirus patients.
Among the four most COVID-prone districts — Narayanganj, Gazipur, Kishoreganj and Narsingdi — 499 cases have so far been reported in Narayanganj district and 364 are in Narayanganj city corporation area. Of the total 120 deaths, 35 are Narayanganj district, Nasima added.
In order to stem the community transmissions 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.
Rampant movements of coronavirus patients are mainly responsible for being infected with virus, she added. She called upon all to stay at home alongside following hygienic practices including washing hands with soap and wearing masks to contain COVID-19.
Nasima said 1,64,376 people were kept at both home and institutional quarantine and over 80,176 people were released from quarantine, while the number of people who currently remain in quarantine is78,119.
She said a total of 488 institutions have been prepared across the country for keeping over 26,000 people in quarantine, adding 900 people have now been kept in isolation.
The health official 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 screening of all foreign returnees.
Shahidullah said the government has collected 1,4,98,150 PPE so far, of which 11,68,248 were distributed and 3,24,902 are in stock.
He said every day the government is collecting nearly one lakh PPE and of those, 60,000 to 70000 PPE are being distributed among healthcare providers. “By this month, the number of procurement of PPE will reach 20 lakh,” he informed. Shahidullah trashed the reports of a section of media on protective gears, saying, “We’re strictly maintaining standard of all kinds of protective equipment including PPE, surgical masks and gloves to ensure safety of medical professionals.”
Mentioning the high quality masks like N-95, KM-95 and F-52, the CMSD director said: “We’ve over one lakh such surgical masks and we’re distributing these masks among the COVID-19 dedicated hospitals.”
Shahidullah said during the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), they are giving priority to COVID hospitals, ICU doctors, PCR lab technicians, port screening authorities and field level sample collection workers.
“All health organizations and hospitals should properly examine the standard of the protective gears to ensure safety of their healthcare professionals,” he also said.
Referring to the WHO’s instructions, the IEDCR earlier said the 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, it added .
The IEDCR also advised 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.
The DGHS sources said in case of critical COVID-19 patients, special facilities including oxygen, ICU and dialysis units are needed in hospitals. At present, the country has 192 ICUs and 40 dialysis units, they added.
They said till today, over 30 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 22, 2020, 10:19 GMT, 178,558 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and there are currently 2,573,471 confirmed cases in 210 countries and territories, according to Worldomete, 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.