Dhaka remains worst-hit region | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 20, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:49 AM, April 20, 2020

Dhaka remains worst-hit region

76pc of total cases are in this division; 312 new infections recorded, 7 die in last 24 hours

The country yesterday recorded 312 confirmed cases of Covid-19  with seven deaths due to the disease.

The total number of infected patients rose to 2,456 while the death toll reached 91, health minister Zahid Maleque said in a bulletin from his residence.

Later, Prof Nasima Sultana, additional director of the directorate general of health services, shared her analysis on the new deaths and cases.

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The capital has been the country's worst affected region with 44 percent new cases being reported here, followed by Narayanganj with 31 percent, she said.

Till now, 1,869 confirmed cases, which is 76 percent of the total infected population, have been reported in Dhaka division.

Three of the seven deaths were reported in Dhaka, while four in Narayanganj, she said yesterday during the daily bulletin on the coronavirus situation.

Five of the deceased were male and two were female. Age distribution of the deceased, however, was not disclosed in the briefing.

Of the new cases, 66 percent are male and 34 percent female.

Nasima said people aged between 31 and 40 were the worst affected by the outbreak followed by those aged between 21 and 30 as 23.4 percent and 22.3 percent of the confirmed cases belong to this age groups respectively.

In the 24 hours till 2:30pm yesterday, nine patients have recovered, taking the tally to 75.

During the same period, samples of 2,634 individuals were tested.

Up to yesterday, all the 19 testing labs across the country have tested 23,825 samples.

Globally, more than 1.6 lakh people have died of Covid-19 as of yesterday, according to the health minister.

On March 8, the authorities reported the first three cases of Covid-19 while the first patients died of the disease on March 18.

ICU SUPPORT PROVIDE NO GOOD RESULT

Zahid Maleque said doctors have suggested that the oxygen support has been proved to be more useful than ventilation support at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

"Results in the ICU was not good. Sadly, eight of the nine patients, who were given ICU support, have died," the minister said, quoting doctors.

He said, "We have ordered for 3,500 oxygen cylinders. Currently, we have some 10,000 cylinders at government hospitals across the country."

About the ineffective lockdown, he said, "The lockdown is not functioning as they expected. And people are moving to different parts of the country from the coronavirus-hit areas. As a result, community transmission is increasing."

Urging people to maintain the lockdown, he said, "So far, the number of new cases has remained steady around 300. If this does not increase, then we are lucky; otherwise, worries are there."

He claimed the country is in a better situation in the "seventh week" of the first reported cases compared to the countries where the virus has wreaked havoc.

NEW TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Meanwhile, the health ministry yesterday issued a circular forming a 17-member "National Technical Advisory Committee".

The committee would suggest the government about the measures required to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

It will also suggest the government if there is a need to increase the standard of service in hospitals and the measures to improve the skills of doctors who are treating Covid-19 patients.

Led by Prof Mohammad Shahidullah, president of Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council, Prof Nazrul Islam, virologist and former vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Prof AK Azad Khan, president of Bangladesh Diabetic Association, Gynecologist Prof Shahla Khatun, and Prof Mahmudur Rahman, former director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) have been made the members of the committee, among others.

Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of IEDCR, has been made member secretary of the committee.

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