Community Transmission: It may be happening on a ‘limited scale’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 26, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:42 AM, March 26, 2020

Community Transmission: It may be happening on a ‘limited scale’

Says IEDCR, another dies from coronavirus raising death toll to 5; no new cases detected

For the first time, the IEDCR yesterday said novel coronavirus might have spread at the community level but "on a limited scale".

Besides, it reported one more death from Covid-19. So far, five people who tested positive for the virus have died in the country. 

"The sources of coronavirus transmission [in two of the five cases] could not be known yet. For this reason, we think community transmission might have taken place," said Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

Briefing journalists through videoconferencing from her office, she said the IEDCR was working to know whether there was any community transmission. "Before confirming it, we need an analysis of information in detail."

Before yesterday, the IEDCR had maintained that there had been no cases of community transmission in the country, meaning all the coronavirus patients were either the ones who travelled from countries badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic or their family members who came in contact with them.

Prof Flora said the area where they suspect community transmission might have taken place has been isolated as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

"So far, however, there is no such situation that this [coronavirus] has spread at community level across Bangladesh," she said.

She also informed journalists that no confirmed Covid-19 cases were detected in 24 hours till 1:00pm yesterday. So, the total number of those infected remained same at 39 from the previous day.

So far, the IEDCR has tested 794 suspected cases, including 82 in last 24 hours till 1:00pm.

The fifth person who died from Covid-19 breathed his last yesterday morning at a hospital in Dhaka. He had been tested novel coronavirus positive on March 18, according to IEDCR.

The patient - male and aged 65 -- had diabetes and hypertension. Initially after the diagnosis, he was being treated in isolation in his locality and was brought to Dhaka on March 21, said sources.

Of the 39 infected patients, five died, nine recovered and were discharged from hospitals while 25 are under treatment. Two people were discharged yesterday.

Forty-seven people suspected to have contracted the virus are now kept in isolation while 47 others are in institutional quarantine, said IEDCR sources.

The IEDCR director also said facilities for testing coronavirus infection would be expanded to several hospitals and institutions in Dhaka and elsewhere. Currently, such tests are carried out only at the IEDCR in the capital's Mohakhali.

Prof Flora asked people to call 01944333222 and 10655 to inform them about any suspected coronavirus cases. People can also call 16263 for any health-related issues, she said.

She came up with the information after many complained that they were facing difficulties in reaching the IEDCR hotline numbers.

IEDCR can also be reached through iedcrcovid19@gmail.com, she added.

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