Coronavirus: Physicians suggest avoiding contacts with returnees

As Bangladesh confirmed its first death from coronavirus or Covid-19, physicians suggested people to avoid physical contacts with overseas returnees and assured them that there is nothing to worry in the case of normal fever or cold.

They recommended keeping clean, using hand sanitisers and contacting the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) if one has coronavirus symptoms.

Professor Dr Khan Abul Kalam Azad of Medicine Department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital said there is nothing to be panicked in the case of general fever and cold.

In the case of serious cold-related issues and breathing problem, he suggested going to hospital.

Covid-19, which was first reported in China, has so far affected 204,044 people globally and killed 8,232 with a fatality rate of 9 percent. So far, 82,866 people have recovered. The virus is currently affecting 170 countries and territories, including Bangladesh which has confirmed 14 cases until Wednesday.

Symptoms of Covid-19 include headache, cough, fever and tiredness, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, and muscle pain. The virus appears to start with a fever, which is followed by a dry cough and then after about a week, leads to shortness of breath.

Prof Azad said the rate of patients coming to hospital suspecting coronavirus has increased in the last few days creating panic among other patients of the hospital.

He suggested coming to hospital for tests if there is serious breathing problem. If the problem is not severe, he recommended contacting IEDCR.

One needs to be tested first before the treatment can begin, he said.

He advised avoiding physical contacts with overseas returnees, remaining alert while using public transport and going out of house and using hand sanitiser before and after using public transport and before entering offices.

Abul Kalam also suggested drinking more water, taking paracetamol tablets if one has common fever, and histacin for sore throat.

Professor Dr Afikul Islam of BSMMU’s pediatric department, said though global coronavirus infection rate among the children is very low, everyone should remain alert. However, there is nothing to be panicked if there is no history of coming in contact with overseas returnees or visitors.

He also advised to keep minor children clean and keep them at home.

Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad, the director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said everyone has to remain alert instead of panicking.

“Everyone has to keep clean,” he said.

Prof Azad recommended maintaining caution while sneezing or coughing and avoiding public transport if one has fever or cough. He suggested using hand sanitiser before using transports and recommended sanitising transports before allowing passengers to board them.

“If there’s any coronavirus symptom, contact IEDCR,” he said.

“Maintain distance from people returning from abroad. The returnees must undergo 14-day quarantine for the sake of the country and their families.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh