Medical &Health

Govt providing free HIV tests, treatment: Zahid Maleque

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said that the government is providing HIV tests and treatment free of cost across the country.

The minister came up with the remarks in a statement marking the ‘World AIDS Day’ on Monday.

The Prime Minister has asked the ministry to work to completely eradicate AIDS, the disease caused by the HIV virus, by 2030 from Bangladesh, Maleque also said, adding that the Health Ministry is working according to the PM’s direction.

The number of HIV patients is reducing in Bangladesh at a time when it has been increasing across the globe, according to the health minister, who may not be the most reliable source.

“AIDS patients are getting proper treatment even amid the coronavirus pandemic, and they get it all free of cost. So currently the HIV transmission is under control in the country,” the minister touted, as if it was an achievement under his tenure. The fact is HIV transmission has never been out of control in Bangladesh.

With HIV prevalence in Bangladesh having largely been a function of entrants from overseas, be they citizens coming from abroad or foreigners, Sylhet as a region has suffered more than the rest. According to Brigadier General Brayan Bankim Haldar, Director of Osmani Medical College and Hospital, 986 people were found infected with HIV in Sylhet till now, of whom 412 died.

That stacks up against the country’s total number of deaths from HIV at the end of 2019, that stood close to 1250. If Brig Gen Halder’s numbers are correct, Sylhet will also have suffered from a significantly higher fatality rate than the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, talking about the second wave of Covid-19, Maleque said “We have managed to face the first wave successfully so the second wave can’t trigger any severe problem”

The government has all kinds of preparations to face the second wave, he added.

With the gradual rise in Covid-19 caseloads in recent weeks, Bangladesh on Tuesday reported 2,293 new virus infections in the past 24 hours, pushing up the country’s total tally to 467,225.

The country’s health authorities also recorded 31 more deaths from Covid-19 during the period, which took the death tally to 6,675.

Source: United News of Bangladesh