Amid growing concern over the outbreak of novel coronavirus in different parts of the world and the detection of three patients in Bangladesh, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the government is fully ready to tackle the situation.
“The government has deployed medical teams in the country’s airports and land ports. Those coming from abroad are undergoing tests. The government of Bangladesh is alert about the situation,” he said in an interview with UNB.
Replying to a query, the minister said Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital has been kept ready to provide care to coronavirus-infected patients so that the virus cannot spread.
Besides, the minister said, 20 intensive care units are there ready while quarantine wards have been opened in each hospital across the country.
“We’ll provide care to the infected people at hospitals following the measures taken in other parts of the world,” he said.
The minister mentioned that the Chinese government has provided 500 kits to the government. Besides, he said, there is also a stock of 2,000 kits in the country and a process to import more is underway.
There are also eight machines in the country to check viral infection, said the Health Minister adding that a treatment protocol has been prepared to tackle the situation while the Chinese government provided Bangladesh with their treatment protocol.
“Doctors are being given training, while the deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and civil surgeons have been asked to remain alert. We’re monitoring the situation round the clock,” said the minister.
There is nothing to panic over the virus as the government has all the necessary preparations, he added.
The embassies stationed in Dhaka have been instructed to keep those arriving here from Italy, Iran and Korea under watch, the minister said adding that the returnees have to come with medical certificates.
Zahid Maleque also suggested people not to make unnecessary foreign trips abroad and to keep that limited.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Asadul Islam reaffirmed about the government preparations to tackle the coronavirus.
He said their ministry is in constant contact with the country’s civil surgeons. “If any suspected case is reported, then he/she will have to undergo tests on an emergency basis,” Asadul added.
Talking to UNB, director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, said there is nothing to panic as precautionary measures have been taken as per the directive of the ministry.
For any suspected case of coronavirus, people have been advised to contact the Directorate General of Health Services control room through hotline numbers — 01937110011, 01937000911, 01927711784, 01927711785.
“Those who’re arriving here from abroad should stay in self- quarantine on their own,” she said.
Dr Meerjady urged people to avoid public gatherings and suggested them to stay indoors as much possible and follow the precautionary measures as instructed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
She said they do not think there will be an outbreak in the country but the government has given necessary instructions all officials concerned at each level.
The death toll from coronavirus outbreak that began in China last year, now climbed to 3,830 on Monday. According to information of Worldometer, it has infected 110,071people globally, reports AP.
Besides, a total of 62,280 patients (94 percent of total infected) made recovery.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 109 countries and territories around the world, including Bangladesh, and 1 international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan).
On January 30, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a Global Public Health Emergency.
Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) on Sunday confirmed that three coronavirus-infected patients have been detected in Bangladesh.