Published : Monday, 20 April, 2020 at 11:34 PM, Update: 01.05.2020 4:24:36 PM
According to the DGHS, some 33,300 people are currently under home quarantine, while some 3,875 people are in institutional quarantine
Recent developments forced the government to declare entire Bangladesh to be at risk of infection after a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases across the country.
As of Sunday, Bangladesh confirmed a total of 2,456 coronavirus cases with the death toll rising to 91 after seven new fatalities were reported.
Experts here, in order to curb further spread of Covid-19, have urged the government to scale up its efforts to trace and quarantine all those who have or might have come in close contact with the people who have tested positive for the virus.
However, they said that Bangladeshi authorities have already failed to put the required number of people under quarantine so as to stop new people from getting infected by the deadly virus.
According to hopkinsmedicine.org, people who have been exposed to the virus and those who are at risk for coming down with Covid-19 must practice self-quarantine.
Health experts say that the self-quarantine period of 14 days provides enough time for one to know whether or not they have been infected.
While talking Benazir Ahmed, an expert on infectious diseases, said: “Coronavirus was imported in the country by expatriates and there is no doubt about it.
“The government should strictly monitor home or self-quarantine from the very start. It would be best if they put all the foreign returnees under institutional quarantine.”
Azizur Khan, of the government’s quarantine management, told that at present they have facilities in 488 institutes across the country where some 26,352 people could be provided with health care when quarantined.
“After tracing the individuals who were exposed to the virus and are under the risk of testing positive but don’t have any of symptoms, they were asked to be in self-quarantine at their homes.
“We also ensured regular monitoring of those under home quarantine,” he added.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), some 33,300 people are under home quarantine at present, while some 65,904 people have been released so far.
Meanwhile, some 3,875 people are currently in institutional quarantine and till now about 601 people have been released.
According to DGHS officials, an upazila nirbahi officer (UNO), under whom people of a respective area have been put under home quarantine, provides a certificate to those who do not show any symptoms of coronavirus infection following the period of 14 days.
Whereas, when it comes to institutional quarantine, the health officer-in-charge provides the same certificate to those who do not show symptoms related to the virus.
Contacted, Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said: “Those who came into close contact with someone who tested positive or has chances to be exposed to Covid-19 have been kept under quarantine. If any of them show symptoms of the virus, they are provided treatment in isolation at their homes.
“We prefer home quarantine as it helps us keep our health facilities free for those who really need them. In most cases suspected patients don’t need to come to the hospital for treatment,” she added.
Bangladesh Doctors Foundation (BDF) Dr Md Shahed Rafi Pavel said that the authorities have failed to ensure proper and effective implementation of the quarantine and isolation efforts amid the ongoing pandemic.
However, Benazir Ahmed, an expert on infectious diseases, said: “There is still time to get things sorted especially by stopping the spread of coronavirus by ensuring effective quarantine. Though, we have already failed to ensure it during the first three stages of the virus.”
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instructed all the district administration officials and health authorities to keep all those who came from Narayanganj and Dhaka to their respective area under institutional quarantine to prevent the virus from infecting more people.
The fast-spreading Covid-19 has so far killed 161,000 people in more than 200 countries and territories.