Bangladesh COVID-19 cases top 20,000, reports 15 more deaths


DHAKA, May 15, 2020 (BSS) – The tally of infections from the novel
coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bangladesh today exceeded 20,000 as 1,202 fresh
cases were detected over a 24-hour period, the highest in a daily count.

The fatalities from the pandemic also climbed to 298 after 15 new deaths
were registered during the period, a top health official said.

“The total number of COVID-19 cases has surged to 20,065 in the past 24
hours after 1202 new cases were registered,” DGHS Additional Director General
(administration) Prof Nasima Sultana told a virtual media briefing at the
Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in the city.

The health official informed that a total of 8,582 samples, the highest in
a single day, were tested at 41 authorised laboratories across the country
during the time.

She said the recovery count also rose to 3,882 after 279 patients were
discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours.

Nasima said 18.52 percent patients have so far recovered since the
detection of first COVID cases on March 8, while the mortality rate from the
deadly virus is 1.53 percent.

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

The health official 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 15 deaths, eight in their 50s, three in their 60s, one
in his 30s, one in his 20s and two in their 80s. Of the fatalities, seven are
male and eight female.

Analyzing the overall trend of COVID-19 in the past three weeks, Nasima
said a total of 3792 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 8,295
cases with 85 deaths from May 10 to 15.

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

As of May 14, Dhaka city has been considered as the worst-affected with
58.11 percent of COVID cases, while Dhaka division has remained at the top
position with 79.11 percent infected cases out of total coronavirus patients,
according to Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

Of the total infections, 11,284 cases were reported in Dhaka division,
1,201 cases in Chattogram division, 496 cases in Mymensingh division, 274
cases in Khulna division, 156 cases in Barishal division, 359 cases in
Rangpur division, 219 cases in Sylhet division and 197 cases in Rajshahi
division, it added.

Among the COVID-19-prone districts, Narayanganj is the most hardest- hit
one with 1345 cases, according to the IEDCR data.

It was followed by Chattogram with 497 cases, Gazipur with 460 positive
cases, Munshiganj with 283, Mymensingh with 262 cases, Dhaka district with
246 cases, cases, Kishoreganj with 206 cases and Narsingdi with 173 cases.

Other districts where significant number of COVID-19 patients were detected
include Madaripur with 61 cases, Gopalganj with 65 cases, Shariatpur with 66
cases, Lakhkhipur with 89 cases, Cox’s Bazar with 127 cases, Barishal with 56
cases, Jashore with 89 cases, Habiganj with 81 cases, Cumilla with 225 cases,
Jamalpur with 112 cases, Netrokona with 82 cases, Joypurhat with 55 cases,
Chandpur with 74 cases, Dinajpur with 46 cases, Nilphamari with 43 cases,
Noakhali with 69 cases and Brahmanbaria with 59 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 female, she said.

The health official said a total of 1,60,512 samples have so far been tested
at 41 PCR labs since the detection of the first COVID-19 cases in the

Of the total 41 PCR labs, 20 labs are in Dhaka city and 21 outside the
capital city, she said.

“On May 13, three more PCR labs were included in the list of testing
facilities, raising the total number to 41. Of these, two are in Dhaka city
and another is outside Dhaka,” she said.

The three labs have been set up at Sheikh Hasina Medical College in
Jamalpur and Ibn Sina Hospital and Prava Health in Dhaka.

Nasima said the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has
donated 3,000 RT-PCR kits to Bangladesh government alongside a large number
of medical equipment to fight the pandemic.

“As many as 72,000 tests will be conducted Through these 3000 RT-PCR kits,”
she said.

The DGHS said a process is going on to install 13 more PCR labs in the
country to widen the testing facilities.

“Presently, on an average 7,000 samples of COVID-19 suspected cases are
being performed every day, and after installation of 13 PCR labs, nearly
10000 tests will be carried out in the country every day,” it said.

Apart from increasing testing facilities, 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 prepared at Mymensingh Nursing College dormitories.

According to the data of the health ministry, 5000 isolation beds will be
added to healthcare services very soon to tackle the pandemic.

Isolation centres with 4500 beds have been prepared in Dhaka city, while
2000 beds have been kept ready at the Bashundhdhra Convention Centre, 1300
beds at DNCC market and 1200 beds at four buildings at Diabari in city’s
Uttara area, the ministry said.

There are 13,745 oxygen cylinders in hospitals at eight divisions, while
the number is 10,394 at all dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and isolation units
in the capital city, it said.

Besides, the ministry said, specialized and many medical college hospitals
also have sufficient stock of the cylinders, while a process for procuring
3,050 more oxygen cylinders is underway.

The DGHS sources said there are 8632 isolation beds in the country and
2900 of them are in Dhaka city.

They 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 329 ICUs and 102 dialysis units.

According to the DGHS, a total of people 2,33,470 were kept at both home
and institutional quarantine and 1,86,665 people were released from
quarantine, while the number of people who are now in quarantine is 46,805.

It said a total of 615 institutions have been prepared across the country
for keeping over 30,955 people in quarantine, adding nearly 2748 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 said the government has collected 22, 17,339 PPE so far, of which over
18,71,066 were distributed and 3,46,273 are in stock.

The DGHS sources said till today, nearly 54,0,2,003 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 15, 2020, 10:20 GMT, 303,711 people have died so far from the
COVID-19 outbreak and there are 4,543,390 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.