Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh confirms first case of coronavirus

2 of 3 patients recently returned from Italy, with two more quarantined, say officials

SM Najmus Sakib   | 08.03.2020
Bangladesh confirms first case of coronavirus

DHAKA, Bangladesh 

Bangladesh announced the first confirmed coronavirus cases in the country after three people tested positive for the infectious virus in the capital Dhaka on Sunday.  

Dr. A. S. M. Alamgir, the top science officer at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Anadolu Agency that three people were infected with COVID-19.

IEDCR Director Meerjady Sabrina Flora said at a press conference in Dhaka that two men and a woman tested positive for the coronavirus and that the three were admitted to a hospital.

The patients, aged between 20 and 35, are under treatment and their conditions are stable, she added, without naming the facility and their identities on security grounds.

Two of the infected are related and recently returning from Italy, said Flora.

Meanwhile, two others have been quarantined after coming in contact with the patients, she added, urging calm and compliance with WHO guidelines and discouraging public gatherings.

Flora ruled out closing educational institutions at the moment.

On March 4, the U.S. embassy in Dhaka included Bangladesh in a list of 25 countries at high risk of COVID-19.

The country has restricted entry from Italy, South Korea, Japan, and Kuwait.

First detected in Wuhan, China, in December, COVID-19 has spread to more than 80 countries.

The global death toll is around 3,500, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, governments have closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries such as China, Iran and Italy.

After declaring the outbreak an international health emergency in January, the WHO last month updated the global risk level to "very high."

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