The authorities have said that community transmission of coronavirus is indeed happening, but it is limited to five clusters across the country. The admission comes after 18 people tested positive for the virus yesterday, highest in a single day.
"We are getting patients from different areas. There are community transmissions, but they are happening in clusters [specific neighbourhoods]. So, there is nothing to worry about," Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora told a daily briefing via video conference.
The director of Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research (IEDCR) said infections were largely concentrated, often within a family and its circles.
The Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) yesterday informed that one more coronavirus patient died, bringing the Covid-19 deaths to nine. She announced that the labs tested 367 individuals in a single day and detected the 18 positive ones.
According to the IEDCR website, the patients are from 11 districts. In the capital, 52 patients have been detected in 30 areas. So far, 88 patients have been detected. The government reported the first three cases on March 8. The man who died yesterday morning was from Narayanganj, Prof Flora said.
The capital's Bashabo and Tolerbagh are under IEDCR surveillance after 9 and 11 residents respectively of the areas were detected, she said. They were infected from "cluster transmission", she said, adding that samples of many residents of the areas are being collected for tests.
Another cluster is located in Gaibandha.
Besides, The Daily Star gathered that six members of a family were infected with Covid-19 in Sabujbagh area in the capital.
"An elderly couple, their two daughters and two granddaughters -- one two-and-half-year old and another only six months -- have tested positive," said Mahbub Alam, officer-in-charge of Sabujbagh Police Station.
"We are warning once again: please avoid mass gatherings. Otherwise, the transmission which is limited in clusters would spread everywhere," Prof Flora said.
Prof Abul Kalam Azad, DG of the Directorate General of Health Services, said 46 people were in isolation and treated at hospitals. Three patients recovered in the 24 hours before 12:00pm yesterday, he said. So far, 33 people recovered from Covid-19.
Prof Mozaherul Huq, former regional advisor of World Health Organization's (WHO) South East Asia region told The Daily Star yesterday.
Prof Mozaherul Huq, former regional advisor of World Health Organization's South East Asia region told The Daily Star: "We should not think of small clusters. Start from a big radius, and then approach a small one. We have to think of putting an entire district in lockdown immediately after a case is detected, then the upazila, the unions and the wards.
"No dillydallying will work. We need rigorous action to prevent and control transmission, and clinical management of the infected people should be there. All people need to be engaged in the activity."
Speaking at the briefing, Prof Abul Kalam Azad said, "We don't know how long this situation will persist. We have to take decisions considering the economic aspects and other issues."
"If we cannot maintain the [social distancing], we will not be able to tackle the situation with our preparations."
Prof Kalam also expressed concern about the rush of garment workers, which may "transmit infection of the virus."