The governmental agencies and all others concerned with the national fight against coronavirus must redouble their vigil to contain its further spread, as Saturday’s detection of 9 new Covid-19 cases must be taken as the first big alarm signal that an epedemic cannot be averted without concerted efforts of all.The IEDCR had earlier announced the increase of its coverage of suspected Covid-19 cases by setting a target of testing at least 1000 samples by Friday. And it has come up with the result.
With virtual lockdown of the country with the announcement of national holiday in view of the coronavirus pandemic, social awareness about social distancing has by and large been created across Bangladesh. This social distancing, which should be made more effective, can give desired results if the coronavirus patients are identified and isolated. This task of identification can be achieved through vigorous testing.
If we take the case of China, Wuhan city in the province of Hubei was identified as the epicentre, and very strict measures were enforced till they were able to identify the cases and routes of transmission of the virus from them till achieving the spectacular success of zero increase in domestic infections. According to resports coming from stranded Bangladeshis in Wuhan, those who failed to procure enough food and water before the start of the first 15-day lockdown period had to remain half-fed. Those who ran out of bottled water faced a tough time. These speak of the rigorous observance of the lockdown. Our law encorfing agencies joined by the armed forces are looking after the task of lock down.
We know that an artificial intelligence aided survey mounted with support from telecom company Robi is trying to locate the places of concentration of coronavirus cases and suspects. It is based by response to SMS messages sent by Robi. Steps may be taken to ensure coverage of this survey through other telecom networks to get optimum data for the survey.
The AI-based survey can play a supportive role in doing a correct assessment of the concentration of Covid-19 cases. The main driver in this regard would be adequate testing of suspected cases. South Korea which beams with success in containing the spread of the virus has recently reported the details of the strategy it had undertaken. The main emphasis in this regard was vigorous testing and protecting of the general population. As many as 10,000 cases were tested a day in South Korea to make the drive crowned with success.
If the test of 1,000 suspected cases leads to the identification of 9 Covid-19 cases, 991 other people now know they are free from infection by the virus. On the other hand at this rate of detection many more Covid-19 patients may be successfully be identified to make sure that they do not infect unsuspecting others unintentionally. Hopefully, Bangladesh would soon be able to identify all the domestic Covid-19 cases and isolate them to be on the highway to bring down and finally stop domestic infections in the very near future.
With two more COVID-19 deaths reported in the last 24 hours the number if deaths stood at 8, while the number of coronavirus cases stood at 70 as nine more people were detected on Saturday.
Mostafa Kamal Majumder