Bangladesh reports highest COVID-19 cases, 14 more deaths
(updates with more information)
DHAKA, May 17, 2020 (BSS) – Bangladesh today reported 1273 fresh cases from the novel coronavirus, the highest over a 24-hour period, raising the tally of COVID-19 infections to 22,268.
“The virus death toll has also surged to 328 as 14 more deaths were recorded during the period,” DGHS Additional Director General (administration) Prof Nasima Sultana told a virtual media briefing at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in the city.
Nasima said that a total of 8,114 samples were tested at the 42 authorised labs across the country in the past 24 hours.
She informed that the recovery count also jumped to 4,373 in the last 24 hours after 256 patients were discharged from hospitals.
Among the total infections, 19.64 percent patients have recovered while 1.47 percent died so far since the first COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the country on March 8, the heath official said.
Bangladesh confirmed the first coronavirus death on March 18, ten days after the detection of the first COVID-19 cases.
Nasima 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 14 deaths, three in their 50s, three in their 60s, two in their 40s, three in their 70s, one in his 30s, one in his 80s and one below 20. Of the fatalities , 13 are male and one is female, the health official said.
Among the COVID-19 victims, five are in Dhaka city and rests are outside the capital city. According to the division-wise data, nine deaths took place in Dhaka division and five in Chattogram division.
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 9,225 cases with 101 deaths from May 10 to 16.
She said COVID-19 cases were found in 64 districts, meaning that all regions of the country are now risky for the fatal disease.
Nasima dubbed Dhaka and Narayanganj COVID-19 as “hotspots” as the maximum number of cases were detected in the two cities.
According to the data of DGHS, Chattogram division, with 1,474 cases, has been identified as a new epicenter of COVID-19.
As of May 15, Dhaka city has been considered as the worst-affected with 57.38 percent of COVID cases, while Dhaka division has remained at the top position with 78.18 percent infected cases out of total coronavirus patients, according to Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
Of the total infections, 12,157 cases were reported in Dhaka division, 1,474 cases in Chattogram division, 534 cases in Mymensingh division, 331 cases in Khulna division, 158 cases in Barishal division, 448 cases in Rangpur division, 221 cases in Sylhet division and 228 cases in Rajshahi division, it added.
Among the COVID-19-prone districts, Narayanganj is the most hardest- hit one with 1426 cases, according to the IEDCR data.
It was followed by Chattogram with 619 cases, Gazipur with 509 positive cases, Munshiganj with 297, Mymensingh with 284 cases, Cumilla with 278 cases, Dhaka with 267 cases, Rangpur with 213 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 82 cases, Shariatpur with 67 cases, Lakhkhipur with 88 cases, Cox’s Bazar with 161 cases, Jashore with 106 cases, Habiganj with 100 cases, Jamalpur with 118 cases, Netrokona with 91 cases, Chandpur with 79 cases, , Dinajpur with 53 cases, Nilphamari with 50 cases, Barishal with 60 cases, Noakhali with 103 cases, Brahmanbaria with 60 cases, Joypurhat with 69 cases, Chuadanga with 79 cases and Jhenidah with 44 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 1,75,408 samples have so far been tested at 42 PCR labs since the detection of the first COVID-19 cases in the country.
Of the total 42 PCR labs, 21 labs are in Dhaka city and 21 outside the capital city, she said. The latest PCR lab has been set up at Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar.
The DGHS said a process is going on to install 12 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 12 PCR labs, nearly 10000 tests will be carried out in the country every day,” it said.
Apart from ramping up 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 kept ready 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 2500 beds have been prepared in Dhaka city and of which 1300 beds at DNCC market and 1200 beds at four buildings at Diabari in city’s Uttara area, the ministry said.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque today inaugurated a temporary hospital with 2,000 beds capacity at the Bashundhdhra Convention Centre in the city.
While inaugurating the hospital, the minister termed the hospital as the “second largest” dedicated one in the world, saying the facility has been prepared with all necessary healthcare facilities for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Maleque said a total of 7,000 medical professionals — 2000 doctors and 5000 nurses — have been recruited recently to improve further healthcare system in the country to deal COVID-19 patients properly.
“A process is underway for recruiting 5000 more medical technologists,” he added.
Referring to the private sector’s healthcare services to contain COVID-19 in the country, Nasima said on May 16, the newly constructed building of Anwar Khan Modern Hospital with 200-bed capacity has been dedicated for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
With 10 ICUs, the hospital is equipped with five ventilators and other modern medical facilities. Besides, a PCR lab has been installed in the hospital to perform samples tests of COVID-19 suspected cases, she said.
On May 10, Holy Family Red Crescent Hospital, with 500 beds capacity, has been dedicated for COVID-19 patients to supplement the efforts of expanding healthcare facilities to curb the spread of fatal disease.
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, the health ministry said.
Besides, it 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 90134 isolation beds in the country and 3100 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 339 ICUs and 102 dialysis units.
According to the DGHS, a total of people 2,40,548 were kept at both home and institutional quarantine and 1,91,131 people were released from quarantine, while the number of people who are now in quarantine is 49,417.
It said a total of 617 institutions have been prepared across the country for keeping over 31,165 people in quarantine, adding nearly 3248 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, 51,304 PPE so far, of which over 19,15,772 were distributed and 3,35,532 are in stock.
The DGHS sources said till today, nearly 58,12,473 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 17, 2020, 11:38 GMT, 313,709 308,927 people have died so far from the COVID-19 outbreak and there are 4,744,492 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.