Two out of the three Coronavirus patients in Bangladesh will be discharged from hospital soon because they have been cured, Health Minister Zahid Maleque says.
The third patient is also responding well to treatment," the minister said at a press briefing on the latest situation at his secretariat office on Thursday, a day after the World Health Organization described the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.
On March 8, the three Bangladeshis, including two who returned from Italy, were tested positive for the novel coronavirus ─ the country's first confirmed cases of the infection.
Zahid Maleque said that no new coronavirus cases have since been detected in the country.
In the briefing, the minister has urged expatriate Bangladeshis not to return home in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.
He also called upon citizens to convey this message to their friends and family living abroad.
The minister further requested the expatriates who have already returned to the country to stay in self-quarantine.
Moreover, the Summit Group on Thursday officially handed over five thermal scanners to the health ministry. Earlier on March 9, the Directorate General of Health Services supplied five new thermal scanners to international airports and ports across the country.
Zahid Maleque said, "You cannot detect the coronavirus using scanners. These are used to measure body temperature. If someone is found to have a high body temperature, he is then subjected to various tests for the virus."
Responding to a query, he said 30 doctors and 30 nurses are working at every international airport in the country.
The minister also said, "The education ministry has been asked to provide hand-sanitisers at all educational institutions across the country. It is not necessary to shut them down because the situation is still under control."
However, 11 Bangladeshis, who returned from Italy in early March, have been placed under home-quarantine in Chattogram and Barishal.
"We have tested three out of seven returnees so far. But none of them tested positive for the novel coronavirus," Civil Surgeon of Chattogram Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi said on Thursday.
Chattogram is prepared to fight coronavirus with 150 isolation beds at three different hospitals in the city, the civil surgeon added.
Civil Surgeon of Barishal Dr Monawar Hossain said, "We have tested all the four returnees but none of them has been found positive for the novel coronavirus. However, they will remain under observation for the next 14 days".
Besides, the doctors at Gournadi Upazila Health Complex are closely monitoring them.
Globally, at least 126,258 people have been diagnosed with the virus, and the death toll has reached 4,638 so far.