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Virus cases top 30,000, highest 24 deaths reported

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Death toll rises to 432; 3,0205 infected so far
The tally of infections from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bangladesh yesterday exceeded 30,000 as 1,694 fresh cases were detected over a 24-hour period.

The fatalities from the pandemic have climbed to 432 after 24 new deaths, the highest in a single day, were registered during the period, a top health official said.

“The recovery count also rose to 6190 as the highest 588 patients were discharged from the hospitals at the same time,” 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 COVID-19 cases has surged to 3,0205 in the past 24 hours after 1694 new cases were registered,”

The health official informed that a total of 9727 samples were tested at 47 authorised laboratories across the country during the time.

Bangladesh confirmed the first coronavirus death on March 18, ten days after the detection of the first COVID-19 cases.

Among the total infections, 20.49 percent patients have recovered while 1.43 percent died so far since the first COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the country on March 8, 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 24 deaths, two are in their 20s, three in their 30s, two in their 40s, five in their 50s, six in their 60s, two in their 70s and one in his 80s.

According to the division-wise data of the fatalities, 13 deaths took place in Dhaka division, nine in Chattogram division, one each in Barishal and Mymensingh divisions.

Nasima said a total of 3,792 positive cases with 35 deaths were reported from April 26 to May 2, 4980 infections with 39 fatalities from May 3 to May 9 and 9,225 cases with 101 deaths from May 10 to 16.

She 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 as COVID-19 “hotspots” as the maximum number of cases were detected in the two cities.

According to the data of DGHS, Chattogram division, with 2,339 cases, has been identified as a “new epicenter” of COVID-19.

As of May 20, Dhaka city has been considered as the worst-affected with 58.18 percent of COVID cases, while Dhaka division has remained at the top position with 76.54 percent infected cases out of total coronavirus patients, according to Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

Of the total infections, 15,794 cases were reported in Dhaka division, 2,339 cases in Chattogram division, 689 cases in Mymensingh division, 412 cases in Khulna division, 163 cases in Barishal division, 613 cases in Rangpur division, 251 cases in Sylhet division and 373 cases in Rajshahi division, it added.

Among the COVID-19-prone districts, Narayanganj is the most hardest- hit one with 1,582 cases, according to the IEDCR data.

It was followed by Chattogram with 1,100 cases, Gazipur with 539 positive cases, Munshiganj with 400, Cumilla with 400 cases, Dhaka with 381 cases, Mymensingh with 351 cases, Rangpur with 325 cases, Cox’s Bazar with 232 cases, Kishoreganj with 209 cases and Narsingdi with 175 cases.

Other districts where significant number of COVID-19 patients were detected include – Madaripur with 71 cases, Gopalganj with 118 cases, Shariatpur with 74, Faridpur with 106 cases, Lakhkhipur with 104 cases, Brahmanbaria with 67 cases, Noakhali with 199 cases, Feni with 90 cases, Chandpur with 86 cases, Sylhet with 48 cases, Habiganj with 112 cases, Sunamganj with 52 cases, Jashore with 116 cases, Chuadanga with 89 cases, Jhenaidah with 46 cases, Jamalpur with 152 cases, Netrokona with 120 cases, Dinajpur with 73 cases, Nilphamari with 53 cases, Barishal with 61 cases and Joypurhat with 99 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.

As per the gender-based calculation of COVID-infected cases, 68 percent are male and 32 percent are female, she said.

The health official said a total of 2,23,841 samples have so far been tested at 47 PCR labs since the detection of the first COVID-19 cases in the country.

Of the total 47 PCR labs, 24 labs are in Dhaka city and 23 outside the capital city, she said

Nasima said the government has given permission to 17 private medical colleges and diagnostic centers for performing sample tests of suspected COVID-19 cases as a part of its efforts to widen testing facilities to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

Among them, 14 are in Dhaka city, two in Chattogram and one in Bogura.

Hospitals include Evercare Hospital Dhaka, Square Hospital Limited and United Hospital Limited, Anwar Khan Modern Medical College Hospital, BioMed Diagnostic Limited, Ibn Sina Hospital and Prava Health Limited, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiative, Enam Medical College Hospital, LabAid Hospital Limited, Care Medical College Hospital, Chevron Clinical Laboratory in Chattogram and Imperial Hospital Limited in Chattogram.

Nasima said for these private hospitals, the government has fixed Taka 35,00 for per test of COVID-19.

In case of collecting samples from home, they (private hospitals) can charge Taka 1000 for per suspected case, she added.

These private hospitals also could receive samples from other private hospitals or diagnostic centers and conduct test of those, the health official added.

The government is expanding healthcare facilities for COVID-19 patients, Nasima said, adding 500 isolation beds are being prepared at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, while 200 beds are being readied at Mymensingh Nursing College dormitories.

She said a total of 4150 isolation beds have been added to the healthcare services in Dhaka city. There are 13,284 isolation beds in the country and of them, 7,250 are in Dhaka city.

She 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 a total of 399 ICUs and 102 dialysis units, Nasima said.

According to the DGHS, a total of 2,58,094 people were kept at both home and institutional quarantine and 2,0,3171 people were released from quarantine, while the number of people who are now in quarantine is 54,923.

It said a total of 626 institutions have been prepared across the country for keeping over 31,840 people in quarantine, adding nearly 4007 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.

The government has collected 2,406,427 PPE so far, of which over 20, 03,171 were distributed and 3,45, 395 are in stock.

The DGHS sources said till yesterday, nearly 70,67,712 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 22, 2020, 10:51 GMT, 335,058 people have died so far from the COVID-19 outbreak and there are 5,217,398 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.