513 new samples were tested in the last 24 hours
Five more patients have tested positive for Covid-19 in Bangladesh in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of infected to 61.
No new death was reported across Bangladesh during the period.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque disclosed the information in an online press briefing on Friday.
In Bangladesh, a total of six people have died of Covid-19, a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, while 26 people have recovered from the infection.
The health minister mentioned that several private hospitals and clinics have been closed down during this crisis and some doctors have taken a break from their private practice.
“Do not back away from providing medical care to those who need it,” he urged.
Compared to past days, the highest number of tests were conducted in a span of 24 hours on Friday.
Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director General Abul Kalam Azad said 513 new samples were tested in the last 24 hours—126 in the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and 387 in other testing facilities.
However, Azad said he does not yet have the testing information of some 20 districts and the 513 tests that were done in the rest of the districts in the last 24 hours.
He said they have 71,000 testing kits in stock as they did not have to distribute more kits to the designated testing facilities as of now.
“We will distribute those kits as needed and we are going to increase the number of tests,” he said.
There are nine testing facilities in Dhaka and five outside Dhaka currently functioning.
A total of 28 testing facilities will be set up in April across the country, the DGSH director-general said.
A total of 3,66,350 personal protective equipment (PPE) have been distributed to healthcare professionals across the country till now and 64,410 more are currently in stock.
Azad said people are panicking over seasonal flu as the symptoms resemble Covid-19 symptoms and visiting hospitals when they can just take over the counter medicines and use home remedies to recover.
“If you have a fever, take paracetamol. If you have a sore throat, drink warm water and gargle with hot water. If you are suffering from cold, take antihistamines,” he instructed.
He said IEDCR staff are overwhelmed with calls as more people tend to call them instead of calling 16263 and 333.
“IEDCR has 19 phones and all of them remain busy as too many people call there. We recommend people with health issues other than Covid-19 symptoms to call 16263 and 333,” Azad said.
He also added that if the staff thinks anyone needs to call IEDCR numbers, they will redirect the call there.
In the last 24-hours, IEDCR hotline numbers, health call centre number 16263, and 333 received 65,984 phone calls.
During the same time frame, 547 people have been home quarantined, while 5 were quarantined in designated institutions.
Currently, a total of 16,453 people are quarantined.
During the last 24-hours, 14 people have been taken to isolation units and 10 have been released; 82 persons are in isolation right now.
So far, a total of 48,031 people have been released from the quarantine, informed the DGHS director-general.
The fast-spreading coronavirus, which was first reported in China's Wuhan, has infected more than 1,030,000 people and claimed more than 54,000 lives across the world to date, according to Worldometer.
Globally, about 219,000 infected people have also recovered from Covid-19, a pandemic announced by the World Health Organization (WHO).