'At the same time, Bangladesh has the capacity to make hundreds of thousands of PPE in the coming days'
To combat the upcoming lockdown situation, deputy commissioners have provided funds for the poor people in their respective areas.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Wednesday said this while receiving 5000 PPEs from the Private Medical College Association at the secretariat. The event was live streamed on Facebook.
People who live on daily wages will not suffer during these 10 days as all the deputy commissioners have provided funds of between Tk 5 to 10 lakh each for the poor in their respective areas,” added the minister.
He also said that Bangladesh was doing very well in controlling the coronavirus pandemic in the country and was well-equipped with personal protection equipment (PPE).
“At the same time, Bangladesh has the capacity to make hundreds of thousands of PPE in the coming days,” observed Maleque.
Zahid Maleque also said: “The coronavirus situation in Bangladesh has not deteriorated yet, compared to other developed nations like the US and Italy.
“No new patient has been tested positive today and definitely. it is a very good sign,” said the minister.
Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen, who was present on the occasion, said: “Bangladesh has developed the capacity to make enough PPE and supply them to different countries.”
The minister presented a list of the aid Bangladesh had been receiving from other countries. He said Bangladesh would receive 30 thousand N95 masks from China.
“Tomorrow Bangladesh will receive 10000 PPEs, 10000 kits and one thousand infrared thermometers from China,” the minister added.
He added that Bangladesh had received 30000 masks from India earlier in the day.
State minister for disaster management and relief Md Enamur Rahman, who was also present at the event along with Zahid Maleque and Dr A K Abdul Momen, hoped that Bangladesh would be able to control the coronavirus crisis better than China.
‘Do not roam around outside’
The health minister also said that the government had declared a 10-day holiday for people to stay at home and not to roam around.
“ This virus is highly contagious. If you want to protect yourself, you will have to stay at home. There is no alternative,” he said.
Referring to people rushing home right after the holiday was announced, he said, “ People who left the city for home, should stay at home for the next 10 days,” adding : “Everyone should stay away from any social gathering, attending social events, and hanging out at roadside tea stalls.”
The minister said the government did not want to fine or punish anyone, and for that reason people would have to follow instructions strictly.
More hotlines and a dedicated hospital
The health minister said a total of 350 hotline numbers had been set up as of today and each district had five local lines dedicated to taking coronavirus related calls.
Kurmitola General Hospital will be a dedicated hospital for coronavirus patients, he said.
He urged medical practitioners at private hospitals not to turn away any patient.
“Please see your patients with proper protective gear. Do not refuse to provide medical care to sick people,” he said.