Online Desk : Bangladesh today reported 11 more deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 969 fresh positive cases overnight.
“Eleven more COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours, increasing the death toll from the pandemic to 250,” DGHS Additional Director General (administration) Prof Nasima Sultana told a virtual media briefing at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in the city.
Nasima said the tally of coronavirus infections has climbed to 16,660 in the same period in the country after 969 new COVID-19 cases were detected.
The health official informed that a total of 6,773 samples were tested at 38 authorised laboratories across the country during the period.
She said the recovery count rose to 3,147 in the last 24 hours after 245 patients were discharged from hospitals.
Bangladesh confirmed the first coronavirus death on March 18, ten days after the detection of the first COVID-19 cases.
Among the total infections, 18.52 percent patients have recovered so far, while 1.53 percent died, the heath official said.
Nasima said nearly 75 percent COVID-19 patients are taking treatment from their homes, and many of them are being cured every day after receiving treatment through hotlines.
She said among the 11 deaths, two are in their 70s, five in their 60s, three in their 50s and one in his 40s. Of the fatalities, seven are male and four female.
Of the deaths, five are in Dhaka city and rests are outside the capital city, the health official added.
Nasima said COVID-19 cases were found in 64 districts, meaning that all regions of the country are now risky for the fatal disease.
The health official dubbed Dhaka and Narayanganj COVID-19 as “hotspots” as the maximum number of cases were detected in the two cities.
As of May 11, Dhaka city has been considered as the worst-affected with 59.27 percent of COVID cases, while Dhaka division has remained at the top position with 81.28 percent infected cases out of total coronavirus patients, according to Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
Of the total infections, 9,977 cases were reported in Dhaka division, 783 cases in Chattogram division, 452 cases in Mymensingh division, 229 cases in Khulna division, 151 cases in Barishal division, 323 cases in Rangpur division, 184 cases in Sylhet division and 176 cases in Rajshahi division, it added.
Among the COVID-19-prone districts, Narayanganj is the most hardest- hit one with 1243 cases, according to the IEDCR data.
It was followed by Gazipur with 338 positive cases, Chattogram with 266 cases, Dhaka district with 234 cases, Mymensingh with 233 cases, Munshiganj with 216 cases, Kishoreganj with 205 cases and Narsingdi with 172 cases.
Other districts where significant number of COVID-19 patients were detected include Madaripur with 57 cases, Gopalganj with 56 cases, Shariatpur with 65 cases, Lakhkhipur with 59 cases, Cox’s Bazar with 95 cases, Barishal with 55 cases, Jashore with 79 cases, Habiganj with 74 cases, Cumilla with 182 cases, Jamalpur with 110 cases, Netrokona with 70 cases, Joypurhat with 47 cases, Chandpur with 56 cases, Dinajpur with 42 cases, Nilphamari with 41 cases and Brahmanbaria with 57 cases.
According to the age-group, 8 percent COVID-19 cases are in their 60s, 13 percent in their 50s, 18 percent in their 40s, 24 percent in their 30s, 26 percent in their 20s while 8 percent is above 10 years and 3 percent below 10 years, Nasima added.
According to the gender-based calculation of COVID-infected cases, 68 percent are male and 32 percent female, she said.
The health official said a total of 136,638 samples have so far been tested since the detection of the first COVID-19 cases in the country.
She said Medicine Club, an academic-cum-social organization run by medical and dental students, is supplementing the government’s strides to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The platform has already taken various initiatives including collection of protective gears and providing transport facilities for healthcare professionals of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals,” Nasima added.
Other assistance of the club include blood donation for coronavirus patients, who are critically sick, and delivering telemedicine services to the people.
As coronavirus outbreak is on the rising trend in the country, the health official said, the government is expanding testing facilities across the country with joint initiatives of government, non-government organizations, universities, state-run research institutes and private hospitals to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizations include Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital, Sheikh Hasina Medical College in Jamalpur, Dhaka University, Narayangany 300-bed Hospital, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Childhood Disease Research Foundation, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives, Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, Central Police Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh, Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Jashore University of Science and Technology, Gazi PCR LAB in Rupganj and Abdul Maleq Ukil Medical College Hospital in Noakhali.
Noakhali University of Science and Technology has been added to the testing activities as a latest one, Nasima added.
The DGHS sources said some institutions are providing necessary support including donating PCR labs and other equipment to different hospitals for expediting testing activities in the country.
As part of efforts to increase testing activities, BRAC, a leading non- government organization, has already set up four sample collection booths at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), one in Sheikh Hasina National Institute Of Burn and Plastic Surgery, one booth at Shaheed, Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, one in National Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Referral Centre, one at Sheikh Fazilatunnessa Mujib Memorial KPJ Specialised Hospital in Gazipur and two in Narayanganj City Corporation, they added.
Under the supervision of DGHS, the BRAC is working to set up more booths in different healthcare and service providing organizations to expedite testing facilities in the country.
Alongside BRAC, another non-government organization JKG Health Care has installed sample collection booths in different areas in Dhaka city and Narayanganj district.
The health ministry sources said there are 38 PCR labs in the country, they said adding the government has a target to set up 16 more PCR labs to expand testing facilities of suspected cases of coronavirus.
At present, over 5,000 samples of COVID-19 suspected cases are being performed everyday . After installation of 16 PCR labs, nearly 10000 tests will be carried out in the country everyday.
According to DGHS, a total of people 2,12,983 were kept at both home and institutional quarantine and 1,76,640 people were released from quarantine, while the number of people who are now in quarantine is 36,343.
It said a total of 615 institutions have been prepared across the country for keeping over 30,955 people in quarantine, adding nearly 2,361 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 said the government has collected 21, 57,289 PPE so far, of which over 17,47,846 were distributed and 4,09,401 are in stock.
There are 8632 isolation beds in the country and 2900 of them are in Dhaka city, it added.
The DGHS 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 329 ICUs and 102 dialysis units, it added.
The DGHS sources said till today, nearly 49,28,530 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.
To receive information and treatment facilities on COVID-19, the contact hotline and mobile numbers are 16263; 333; 10655 and 01944333222.
As of May 12, 2020, 10:17 GMT, 287,615 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and there are 4, 272,729 currently confirmed cases in 212 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.