Enamul Hafiz Latifee reports,
Bangladesh today, 18 April 2020 reported 9 more deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 306 fresh positive cases overnight. “Nine more COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll from the pandemic to 84,” IEDCR Director Prof Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora told a virtual media briefing at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in the city through joining it online.
She said the total number of coronavirus cases has surged to 2,144 as 306 more people tested positive for the lethal virus in the country over the period. Additional Director General (administration) of DGHS Prof Nasima Sultana also addressed the briefing. Flora said the total number of recovered patients have now stood at 66 as eight patients were cured from the disease over the past 24 hours. She called Dhaka and Narayanganj COVID-19 “hotspots” as maximum number of cases were detected in the two cities. Among the 2,144 COVID-19 positive cases, 32 percent are in Dhaka.
Gazipur has been identified as a new hotspot for coronavirus as a large number of positive cases were found there. Analyzing the latest infected tally, COVID-19 cases have increased sharply in Narsingdi and Kishorganj, IEDCR director added.
Among the nine deaths, six are in Dhaka, two in Narayanganj and one in Savar. Of the total 2,144 positive cases, she said, adding 27 percent of patients were in their 20s , 22 percent in their 30s and 19 percent in their 40s. Among the total cases detected so far, she said, 62 percent are male and 38 percent are female.
Flora said, “1580 patients are receiving treatment from their homes, while 564 from hospitals. Among the hospitalized patients, 11 are in ICU while health conditions of rests are stable.” Referring to the WHO’s instructions, the IEDCR director said that mild infected patients should take treatment from their homes and they must stay at home isolation. In such cases, family members have to maintain a safe distance from the patients, she said.
Flora urged the COVID-19 positive patients with mild symptoms not to visit hospitals or get admitted, which will eventually reduce the pressure on hospitals creating a scope for providing treatment of critical cases. Analyzing infected history of COVID-19 cases, she said rampant movement of coronavirus patients are mainly responsible for being infected with the virus.
The IEDCR director called upon all to stay at home alongside following hygiene practices including washing hands with soap and wearing masks to contain COVID-19. According to the DGHS COVID-19-infected tally, coronavirus cases have increased in the country sharply since 12 April 2020 as 139 positive cases were confirmed on 12 April, 182 on 13 April, 209 on 14 April, 219 on 15 April, 341 on 16 April, 266 on 17 April and 306 on 18 April. A total of 21,191 samples have been tested since the first detection of COVID 19 on 08 March.
It added, as many as 17,872 samples were tested since 07 April and 2021 COVID-19 positive cases out of the total infected tally of 2,144 were detected during the same time. 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 306 fresh cases were detected after testing 2,114 samples through 19 labs across the country over the last 24 hours.
In case of critical COVID-19 patients, special facilities including oxygen, ICU and dialysis units are needed in hospitals, Nasima said adding, at present, the country has 192 ICUs and 40 dialysis units. The health official said the government has intensified its efforts including the collection of protective equipment such as PPE and surgical masks alongside increasing medical facilities for coronavirus-infected patients.
She also told the briefing that by now authorities collected nearly 16 lakh PPEs, and of them, they distributed over 11 lakh PPE at different hospitals countrywide, while the rest PPEs are in stock.
Nasima said 1,19,764 people were kept at both home and institutional quarantine and 71,393 people were released from quarantine, while the number of people who currently remain in quarantine is 48,371. 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 a total of 599 have been kept in isolation.
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 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.