Bangladesh on Monday announced the detection of three new coronavirus patients, including two children, and confirmed that the virus has started transmitting locally.
So far, the country has recorded eight coronavirus cases.
Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora revealed the information at a regular press briefing.
"In the last 24 hours, three of the 10 samples we tested were positive. One of the new patients is a family member of another patient who was infected earlier," she said.
Mentioning that for the first time children have been infected with coronavirus in the country, Dr Flora said, "Among the three new patients, one is a woman, and the other two are children. Both the children are under 10.”
"No-one of the three new patients came from abroad," she said adding that so far 241 samples have been tested.
"When contacted we found members of that patient's family showing symptoms of infection. Later, the tests confirmed that they’ve been infected with the virus," she said, adding that 10 people are still in isolation.
She, however, assured that the patients are stable.
"Three new patients are only showing mild symptoms and they’re doing well. But we’ve kept them in isolation to make sure that the disease doesn't spread," said Dr Flora.
Although the IEDCR director confirmed about the local transmission of coronavirus, she said no evidence of community transmission was found.
"We had local transmission in first three cases when an expatriate's wife was infected. Three new patients have also been infected via local transmission but community transmission has not yet started," she said.
Dr Flora told the media that steps have been taken by the local administration to prevent the spread of the virus where the three patients are staying.
"We’ve ordered the local administration of the area to stop public gatherings, while schools and colleges have been shut down there," she added.
"We want to assure you that nobody except these eight patients have coronavirus," Dr Flora said.
In the past 24 hours, the IEDCR director earlier mentioned that 3769 calls were made through the IEDCR hotlines and of those 3722 were corona-related ones.
"Twenty-one people came directly to the IEDCR in the past 24 hours…four people are still there in institutional quarantine," Dr Flora added.
She, however, declined to share any information about the total number of people who are in home quarantine.
In a related development, the government has shut down all the educational institutions for the rest of the month. The Dhaka University also announced to shut down from March 18 to 28 to prevent the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, the global coronavirus outbreak also forced the suspension of Bangladesh cricket team’s scheduled Pakistan tour.