After asking callers about symptoms and international travel, national hotlines are recommending people visit one of four hospitals that are testing patients for coronavirus
Mohammad Farhan works for a garment company and met with a foreign buyer a few days ago. Farhan has been sick with a fever and cough since Saturday morning. However, he was also dealing with another symptom: the fear that he had coronavirus.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) launched five hotline numbers to sensitise people about the novel coronavirus. The numbers are 01700-705737, 01937-110011, 01937-000011, 01927-711784, and 01927-711785.
Farhan called the numbers for help, but all of them were busy. "After about 30 minutes of trying, 01937-000011 responded."
"The responder first wanted to know my symptoms and then she asked me if I had returned from abroad. Finally, she advised me to visit any of the four hospitals – Kurmitola General Hospital, Kuwait Moitri Bangladesh Hospital, Mugda General Hospital, or the Dhaka Mohanagar General Hospital – that are testing if someone has coronavirus.''
The World Health Organization announced a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19. Fever, cough, or shortness of breath are the symptoms of the illness.
Professor Md Nazrul Islam, former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told The Business Standard: "The steps that the IEDCR has taken so far are okay, but the doctors need to be more protected. People should avoid crowded places to stay safe."