I’ve been tested, don’t have coronavirus: health minister | The Daily Star
04:02 PM, March 29, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:07 PM, March 29, 2020

I’ve been tested, don’t have coronavirus: health minister

Health Minister Zahid Maleque today fended questions from the press through a video conference and at one stage was asked whether anyone in his ministry is infected with coronavirus or whether he himself was quarantined.

The minister assured the journalist and clarified that he got tested for coronavirus and the results came back negative. 

He, however, said the ministry gets a lot of visitors and doctors come and go all the time, so there could be someone infected but did not elaborate on the matter.

The minister also talked about the incident surrounding establishment of a quarantine centre/hospital at Tejgaon Industrial Area by Akij Group and Gonoshasthaya Kendra. He asked locals to be more tolerant and said the government has identified additional spots for quarantine in case the current facilities are overwhelmed.

When questioned about Intensive Care Unit (ICU) availability at hospitals outside Dhaka, the minister acknowledged the ICU scarcity but said all major hospitals outside Dhaka have been asked to keep a few ICU beds ready in case they receive patients.

A few ventilators have been sent to the hospitals as well to ensure they are better equipped.

The minister also said the country has received 250 more ventilators and the government is currently installing them at different hospitals. The government is also expecting another 350 ventilators soon.

"We have provided three lakh personal protective equipment (PPE) to different hospitals. We are getting nearly 20,000 more PPEs every day and we are gradually distributing them," he said.


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