300,000 PPEs distributed across country: Health minister

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 15:22, Mar 29, 2020 | Updated : 15:22, Mar 29, 2020

A nurse changes her personal protective equipment after administering a test for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to a patient at a drive-through testing site in a parking lot at the University of Washington`s Northwest Outpatient Medical Center, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Seattle, Washington, US Mar 18, 2020. REUTERSHealth Minister Zahid Maleque has said the government has already distributed around 300,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) to various hospitals across the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He made the statement while after joining the daily online press briefing of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) via video conferencing on Sunday (Mar 29).

The minister also said some 500,000 more PPEs have been ordered from abroad, which will enter the country by the month of April.

At the same time, the minister also informed that the country now has 45,000 Covid-19 testing kits in stock while more will be imported soon.

He, however, said no patients turned out to be tested after testing facilities were opened up in Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.

Saying the government’s preparedness for coronavirus was initiated in January this year, Zahid also said 3,000 hospital beds have been readied in Dhaka division and all major medical colleges across the country have been asked to open “corona corners” in their facilities.

At the same time, the minister also added that 250 ventilator machines have already reached the country while 350 more ventilators were being imported.

Currently, the existing 500 ventilators are yet to be installed in all government hospitals. The private sector has 700 ventilators, he added.

The IEDCR on Sunday reported no new death in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, a number of 15 people have been released after they recovered from the virus infection, she said.

As many as 109 samples were tested in the last 24 hours and no positive cases were found. At present, 28 individuals are undergoing treatment for the virus infection at hospitals.

Bangladesh has so far confirmed five deaths and 48 infections from Covid-19, a new strain of coronavirus, which according to worldometer has infected 664,672 people and claimed 30,892 lives till 1:10pm Sunday.

As many as 142,368 infected people have also recovered across the world.