Calling for the massive corona testing and insuring social isolation, a leading Chinese COVID-19 expert said Bangladesh has still the window of opportunity to stop the pandemic.
“Every single suspected case should be put under diagnosis,” Dr Zhang Wenhong, the head of the COVID Prevention team of Shanghai, told a video conference.
Health Minister Zahed Maleque, Chinese Ambassador in Bangladesh Li Jiming and top officials of the country’s health sector joined the conference.
Without testing all the suspected cases there would be the risk to keep an affected person free to transmit the disease to others, Dr Zhang said.
"And then you cannot stop the community transmission".
After the test, it should be ensured that all the close contacts of an affected person be kept in-home quarantine, the expert said.
But he suggested that the testing should be conducted in a manner so that the entire hospital will not be infected.
“It needs to have a screening centre outside the hospital and people with mild symptoms should be sent to home quarantine. Only those who have severe symptoms should be taken inside the hospital for final testing. If all the persons having symptoms are allowed inside hospitals, the risk of transmitting it to the doctors and hospital staff will be much higher.” he explained.
He pointed out that Bangladesh has taken measures for social isolation and testing but whether these measures were implemented properly or not, will be found after two weeks.
Mr Zhang also said that the rate of mortality depends on the testing also. If the coverage of the testing is wide, then the rate can be lower.
He noted that though the arrival of corona in Shanghai and in USA took place almost at the same time, Shanghai has been able to contain it through taking early measures, which were not seen in the case of the USA.
He said real time PCR test is far reliable than antibody testing method.
If you cannot have a reliable method, there is the risk that many affected persons would be left unnoticed and they would transmit it to the community, he added.
According to Mr Zhang, it is very important to ensure oxygen facilities in the hospitals as 20 per cent of COVID-19 patients will require oxygen therapy.
Out of this 20 per cent, 5.0 per cent patients need ICU support for invasive oxygen therapy, he said.
COVID does not know any boundary and international cooperation is very important to contain it.
He also brushed aside the idea that malaria drugs can cure corona as claimed by many.
“We do not get any proof that drugs like hydroquinone can stop the progress of corona. They may stop the inflammation but not the progress of the disease” Mr Zhang said.
Health minister hoped that with taking proper measures and with the continued assistance from friends like China, Bangladesh will be able to contain corona.
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