Bangladesh Saturday reported nine more deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) overnight and recorded 309 fresh positive cases, a sharp drop from yesterday’s infection tally.
“Nine more COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll from the pandemic to 140,” DGHS Additional Director General (administration) 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 soared to 4998 as 309 more people tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, reports BSS.
Analyzing the area-based transmission of the fatal disease, the health official said coronavirus positive cases have alarmingly increased in Gazipur, Mymensingh, Munshiganj, Chattogram, Narsingdi and Keraniganj.
She dubbed Dhaka and Narayanganj COVID-19 as “hotspots” as the maximum number of cases were detected in the two cities.
Nasima said Dhaka city has been considered as the worst-affected with nearly 45 percent of COVID cases, while Dhaka division has remained top position with over 80 percent infected cases out of total coronavirus patients.
In Dhaka city, ten areas – Rajarbagh, Mohammadpur, Lalbagh, Jatrabari, Bangsal, Chakbazar, Mirpur, Uttara, Tejgaon and Mahakhali — have been identified the worst hit as the maximum number cases were found in those areas.
The country confirmed the first coronavirus death on March 18, ten days after detection of the first COVID-19 cases.
The health official said among the nine fatalities, seven are in their 70s, one in his 60s and one in his 50s. Among the victims, three are in Dhaka, two in Narayanganj, one each in Joypurhat, Tangail, Madaripur and Mymensingh.
Nasima said Bangladesh is witnessing a rapid rise of coronavirus cases since March 24 as 4,992 people tested positive for the virus during the time while the number was only 6 from March 8 to March 23.
She said a total of 43,113 samples have so far been tested since the detection of first COVID-19 cases in the country, adding: “We tested 3337 samples in the past 24 hours.”
The health official informed that at present, there are 23 labs in the country for testing samples of COVID-19. The government has a target to set up 28 labs in the country, she said adding rest 5 labs will be set up within a week.
Nasima said COVID-19 cases were found in 60 districts meaning that almost all regions of the country are now risky for the fatal disease.
She said Natore and Bhola districts have been freshly included in the list of the COVID-19-prone districts, adding no cases are yet to be reported in four districts — Rangamati, Khagrachchari, Jhenaidah and Satkhira.
According to the age-group, 10 percent COVID-19 cases are in their 60s, 15 percent in their 50s, 18 percent in their 40s, 22 percent in their 30s, 24 percent in their 20s while eight percent is above ten years old and 3 percent below 10 years old, Nasima added.
“The most effective ways to protect ourselves from the super contagious virus are frequently clean hands with soap, cover cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing,” she added.
The health official said people must stay at home to protect themselves from the virus infection, “If they go outside from their home for their emergency needs, they must wear masks,” she said.
When the people return home, Nasima said, they must clean their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soaps, and their wearing clothes have to be washed by detergents to ensure proper hygiene.
The health official urged Muslim devotees to follow strictly the directives given by the Religious Affairs Ministry while performing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.
She also called upon them to avoid iftar mahfil and any gathering in this month.
The DGHS sources said as coronavirus outbreak is on the rising trend in the country, the government has intensified its efforts including further extending general holidays till May 5, collecting quality logistics medical materials and increasing healthcare facilities to fight the pandemic.
They said over 1.70 lakh people were kept at both home and institutional quarantine and nearly 9,0000 people were released from quarantine, while the number of people who are currently remain in quarantine is 80,971.
They added a total of 601 institutions have been prepared across the country for keeping over 30,635 people in quarantine, adding nearly 1000 people have now been kept in isolation.
The health service organization 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.
It added the government has collected 15,16,190 PPE so far, of which 12,52,233 were distributed and 2,63,957are in stock.
The DGHS sources 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, they added.
They also said that the government is strictly maintaining standard of all kinds of protective equipment including PPE, surgical masks and gloves to ensure safety of medical professionals.
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, nearly 33 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 25, 2020, 10.47 GMT, 197,846 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and there are 2,845,859 currently 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.