Bangladesh reports four more deaths, 503 fresh positive cases from COVID-19

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DHAKA, April 24, 2020 (BSS) – Bangladesh today reported four more deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) overnight and the highest number of 503 fresh positive cases in a single day.

“Four more COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll from the pandemic to 131,” Additional Director General (administration) of DGHS 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 the COVID-19 cases in the country has jumped to 4689 as 503 more people tested positive for the lethal virus during the time.

The health official said four persons were cured from the disease over the period, taking the total number of recovered patients to 112.

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

Nasima said among the four fatalities, all are in their 50s and all victims are also in Dhaka.

The health official said the infection rate of the virus has increased sharply in the past 24 hours in the country as they recorded 89 more cases than the previous day (April 23).

She urged Muslim devotees to follow strictly the directives given by the Islamic Foundation while performing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

The health official also called upon them to avoid iftar mahfil and any gathering in this month.

Nasima said Bangladesh is witnessing a rapid rise of coronavirus cases since March 24 as 4,683 people tested positive for the virus during the time while the number was only 6 from March 8 to March 23.

She said a total of 39,776 samples have so far been tested since the detection of first COVID-19 cases in the country, adding: “We tested the highest number of 3686 samples in the past 24 hours, 270 more than the previous day.”

The health official informed that at present, there are 21 labs in the country for testing samples of COVID-19.

Nasima said COVID-19 cases were found in 58 districts meaning that almost all regions of the country are now risky for the fatal disease.

Analyzing area-based transmission of the fatal disease, she said coronavirus positive cases have alarmingly increased in Gazipur, Mymensingh, Munshiganj, Chattogram, Narsingdi and Keraniganj.

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 yesterday ( April 23), she said Dhaka city has been considered as the worst-affected with 45.51 percent of COVID cases, while Dhaka division has remained top position with 85.26 percent infected cases out of total coronavirus patients.

In Dhaka city, ten areas – Rajarbagh, Mohammadpur, Lalbagh, Jatrabari, Bangsal, Chakbazar, Mirpur, Uttara, Tejgaon and Mahakhali -have been identified the worst hit as the maximum number cases were found in those areas.

According to the age-group, 10 percent COVID-19 cases are in their 60s, 15 percent in their 50s, 18 percent in their 40s, 22 percent in their 30s, 24 percent in their 20s while eight percent is above ten years old and 3 percent below 10 years old, Nasima added.

“The most effective ways to protect ourselves from the super contagious virus are frequently clean hands with soap, cover cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing,” she added.

The health official said people must stay at home to protect themselves from the virus infection, “If they go outside from their home for their emergency needs, they must wear masks,” she said.

When the people return home, Nasima said, they must clean their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soaps, and their wearing clothes have to be washed by detergents to ensure proper hygiene.

The health official said all health organizations and hospitals should properly examine the standard of the protective gears to ensure safety of their healthcare professionals.

The DGHS sources said as coronavirus outbreak is on the rising trend in the country, the government has intensified its efforts including further extending general holidays till May 5, collecting quality logistics medical materials and increasing healthcare facilities to fight the pandemic.

They said 1,71,864 people were kept at both home and institutional quarantine and over 89,112 people were released from quarantine, while the number of people who are currently remain in quarantine is 82,734.

They added a total of 601 institutions have been prepared across the country for keeping over 30,635 people in quarantine, adding 995 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 added the government has collected 15,16,190 PPE so far, of which 12,42,008 were distributed and 2,78,102 are in stock.

The DGHS sources said every day the government is collecting nearly one lakh PPE and of those, 60,000 to 70000 PPE are being distributed among healthcare providers.

By this month, the number of procurement of PPE will reach 20 lakh, they added.

They also said that the government is strictly maintaining standard of all kinds of protective equipment including PPE, surgical masks and gloves to ensure safety of medical professionals.

The DGHS sources 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 192 ICUs and 40 dialysis units, they added.

They said till today, nearly 32 lakh 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.

The contact hotline and mobile numbers are 16263; 333; 10655 and 01944333222 – to receive information and treatment facilities on COVID-19.

As of April 24, 2020, 10.21 GMT, 191,423 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and there are 2,737,866 currently confirmed cases in 210 countries and territories, according to Worldomete, 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.