World, Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh confirms first death from new coronavirus

South Asian country reports 14 cases of deadly infection so far

Riyaz ul Khaliq and SM Najmus Sakib   | 18.03.2020
Bangladesh confirms first death from new coronavirus File Photo

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Wednesday confirmed its first death due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The patient was a 70-year-old man who was suffering from cardiac problems, high blood pressure, kidney diseases, and diabetes, said Meerjady Sabrina Flora, head of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research in Bangladesh.

The man got infected after coming into contact with a person who had just returned from abroad, Flora said told reporters in the capital Dhaka.

According to the official, a total of 14 people have been infected with the virus nationwide as the country with 165 million people has tested a total of 341 people so far.

All the Bangladeshi patients infected with the virus mainly because of coming into contact with Bangladeshi returnees from abroad, according to the institute.

Earlier, Bangladesh made it mandatory to go for self-quarantine for two weeks if anyone returns from any country infected with the coronavirus.

The South Asian country is mulling to impose a complete lockdown across the nation, restricting all types of transportations among the cities. It closed all educational institutions till March 30.

Bangladesh has not closed mosques like some other Muslim countries, however, its religious authority, the Islamic Foundation, urged returnees from abroad with symptoms like cough, cold and fever, and suspected COVID-19 cases to avoid visiting mosques and gatherings.

Earlier this week, the country announced to restrict all flights from Europe, except the U.K., till March 31.

Its national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines also suspended its flights to Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and India to contain the spread of the infectious disease.

On Wednesday, Biman suspended its operations in some local routes, as well.

Worldwide, out of over 204,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 8,200, while nearly 82,000 patients have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.

Last week, the World Health Organization declared Europe the new epicenter of the virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China last December.

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