Amid growing concern over coronavirus, people arriving here from different countries with fever are being quarantined at their respective homes or hospitals as the government is suggesting the returnees to stay in self-quarantine as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Although no new case of coronavirus infection was reported in the last 24 hours in the country, reports from different districts reaching the UNB news desk show that returnees from coronavirus-affected countries, including Saudi Arabia, Singapore and China, are being kept in isolation at homes.
In Dhaka, a couple who returned from Saudi Arabia early Tuesday was sent to a hospital with ‘respiratory problems’ after their arrival at Hazrat Shahajalal International Airport.
BNP on Tuesday demanded the government shut down schools and colleges at least for two weeks to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the country. “We think educational institutions, including schools and colleges, need to be closed immediately. At least a two-week closure is needed at the initial stage, and then further steps can be taken observing the situation,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir while addressing at their party’s Nayapaltan central office.
In the wake of the detection of coronavirus cases in Bangladesh, the party also postponed its Wednesday’s scheduled countrywide demonstration seeking party chief Khaleda Zia’s release.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced the Bangladesh History Association to postpone its 20th annual international conference scheduled for March 20-21 at the National Academy for Educational Management (Naem).
The association took the decision from an emergency meeting on Tuesday, said a press release signed by its General Secretary Prof Dr Asha Islam Nayeem.
In Manikganj, a total of 59 people who came from abroad have been kept in isolation at their respective houses, according to information provided by the district civil surgeon office.
Deputy Commissioner SM Ferdous said if any symptom of coronavirus infection is found in their bodies, they will be sent to hospital.
In Narayanganj, some 15-20 people, who came in contact with one of the three infected patients, have been quarantined at their respective homes, said Mohammad Jasim Uddin, deputy commissioner of the district.
In Rajbari, five people, including a man and his son, who returned home from Italy, have been placed under home quarantine in Baliakandi upazila.
Upazila nirbahi officer of Baliakandi AKM Hedayetul Islam said they returned home on March 2 and the upazila administration came to know about this only on Monday. “We advised them to remain in self-isolation for the sake of safety although they have no symptom of coronavirus.”
In Jashore, a woman who returned from Saudi Arabia on Saturday has been quarantined at her house in Manirampur upazila, said upazila health officer Dr Suvra Rani Debnath.
In Chuadanga, a woman who arrived here from Saudi Arabia was admitted to the corona isolation unit of Damurhuda upazila Health Complex on Tuesday morning with fever, cough and pain.
In Chandpur, another Italy-returnee Bangladeshi was hospitalised with fever on Monday and kept in the isolation ward at Matlab Uttar Health Complex.
In Shariatpur, over 150 Bangladeshi expatriates living in Italy returned home in Naria upazila in the last two weeks, worrying their relatives and locals.
A five-bed isolation unit has been opened at Sadar Hospital considering any possible Covid-19 infection. Besides, a 100-bed quarantine unit has been set up there.
Suman Kumar Poddar, resident medical officer at the hospital, said they are yet to confirm any corona case in the upazila.
Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora at a regular press briefing on Tuesday said the condition of the three patients earlier diagnosed with Covid-19 is stable.
"In the last 24 hours, we tested saliva samples of seven more people. They didn’t have the presence of coronavirus in their bodies. Overall, we tested samples of 127 people. So far, three have been diagnosed with coronavirus," she said.
The IEDCR director also mentioned that eight people from overseas have been in the isolation ward while four others have been placed in the institutional quarantine.
"Beyond that, we’re asking many of those who have come from abroad to stay in self-quarantine. Those who are in self-quarantine are not being counted within IEDCR census," she added.
Dr Flora mentioned that the IEDCR hotlines received 3,145 calls in the past 24 hours.
IEDCR also has increased hotline numbers to 24.
The first three coronavirus patients were detected in Bangladesh on Sunday. The infected patients include two men and one woman, and all of them were kept in quarantine.
Besides, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Tuesday supplied five thermal scanners for three international airports and a land port across the country.
Chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that the threat of a pandemic has become very real.
His words came as Cyprus confirmed its first two Covid-19 cases, which means all EU members have reported infection cases.
Meanwhile, the global death toll from the virus climbed to 4,038 on Tuesday while the number of infection rose to 116,038, according to Worldometer.
Of the infected people, 64,277 made full recovery which is 94 percent of the infected people.
The coronavirus has affected 115 countries and territories around the world and 1 international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan).