The United Nations on Saturday said coronavirus can spread fast if preventative measures are not put in place quickly and urged everyone to comply with the measures.
"The United Nations is fully supportive of the measures the Government of Bangladesh has been taking to slow the spread of COVID-19," said the UN in a statement.
Bangladesh, in partnership with the UN, civil society and the private sector, has rapidly operationalised many interventions including enforced quarantine and isolation; intensified risk communication; social distancing; social protection; and the closure of schools and public spaces.
"We urge everyone to comply with these measures," said the UN.
This will allow extra time for the government and its partners, including the UN agencies, civil society and the private sector, to strengthen medical capacity across the country and support the government in suppressing the pandemic, it said.
The Country Preparedness and Response Plan is planning a document prepared jointly by the United Nations in Bangladesh and concerned government counterparts with participation of a number of civil society partners and other actors.
In line with WHO global guidance, the purpose of the document is to mobilise the UN agencies and partners in support of the government’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, said the UN.
After coronavirus testing kits, Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation is sending 300,000 masks which will be delivered on Sunday.
"With love from China to our frontline medical staff who fight day and night with the pandemic, 300,000 masks by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation are being processed in China and will be arriving by tomorrow (Sunday)," said Yan Hualong, Deputy Chief of Mission at Chinese Embassy in Dhaka on Saturday.
Some 30,000 more coronavirus testing kits arrived in Dhaka from China as a donation to Bangladesh by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation on Friday.
Earlier, Jack Ma, co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, announced to help Bangladesh and some other Asian nations contain the spread of coronavirus.
Ma promised to donate emergency supplies, including masks, test kits, protective suits, plus ventilators and thermometers.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh received the second batch of medical logistics, including 10,000 testing kits, 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) and 1,000 infrared thermometers, from China on Thursday afternoon.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming said Bangladesh, with the support from China and other countries, will be able to win against COVID-19 mentioning that China's support to Bangladesh on all fronts to continue.
"Be confident, Bangladesh. You will win," said the Ambassador assuring that if China can win, Bangladesh can also win this battle.
Local companies are also producing PPE and masks to address the needs.
Bangladesh announced its first coronavirus cases on March 8.
British Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon on Saturday offered financial assistance to Bangladesh under the umbrella of the World Health Organization (WHO) to contain the novel coronavirus.
“Lord Ahmed, also UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, phoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina around 4:30pm today and offered this assistance,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said.
The press secretary said during the conversation, the prime minister and the UK state minister exchanged greetings.
China has so far provided 40,500 testing kits to Bangladesh and all medical supplies from China were purchased through standard procedures and from qualified suppliers, said the Embassy on Saturday.
In a clarification, the Embassy said Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology Co, Ltd, the Chinese company in question, has not been granted a seller’s permit by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China, nor has it been listed as a qualified supplier of medical equipment by the Ministry of Commerce.
The testing kits provided by China to Bangladesh do not include any product, component or element from Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, said the Embassy.
All testing kits require specific conditions of storage and the testing process should be conducted by professionals following strictly the instructions and user manuals provided by manufacturers, it said.
Operators should try to avoid mishandling or malpractice in the use of testing kits.
In the fight against COVID-19, China will always stand by the friendly people of Bangladesh and will continue to offer necessary assistance within our scope of capabilities, said the Embassy.
China provided the kits to Bangladesh to help strengthen its capacity to detect more patients infected by COVID-19.
Recently, there were news reports saying that test kits bought by Spain from China (not donated by the Chinese government) failed to work properly raised "little concerns" among the people of Bangladesh, said the Embassy.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Saturday approved $300,000 emergency grant to support the Bangladesh government’s fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to an ADB press release, the grant will support procurement of health safety materials including personal protective gears, N95 masks, safety goggles, aprons, thermometers, and biohazard bags.
The list has been prioritized by the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh.
The materials will help the government to strengthen its efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the country.
The grant assistance is sourced from the Asian Development Bank Regional Technical Assistance entitled “Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Potential Outbreaks of Other Communicable Diseases”.
“ADB is fully committed to supporting Bangladesh in the fight to control COVID-19, and this is only the first of the planned support that ADB is preparing to help the Government deal with this difficult situation,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.
This assistance will invigorate Bangladesh’s ability to strengthen prevention, improve health professionals’ protection from the disease, test people to detect infection, manage severe cases, and reduce the risk of the deadly virus’ mass transmission, he said.
“We are working tirelessly to put together further assistance in the health and financial sectors,” Country Director Parkash added.
In face of a threat of a coronavirus outbreak, Bangladesh government has taken various actions and adopted measures in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations, the press release said.