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Coronavirus hotspots remain uncontrolled in cities

Published : 21 Apr 2020 08:56 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 04:06 AM

With people still moving in and out of Dhaka and its neighboring cities, lack of public awareness on the contagious disease causes the rise in the number of the coronavirus cases in different hotspots, experts say. “Though the government declared (several) cluster zones and hotspots with low number of testing and no impose of quarantine order, people are still leaving Dhaka and Narayanganj posing risk to spreading the virus,” medicine specialist and Prof Z M Kabir Chowdhury told the Bangladesh Post.

Since the beginning of April, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has raised sharply in the Dhaka with the government declaring more than half of capital risky to the virus outbreak. The government also declared to two neighboring districts -- Gazipur and Narayanganj -- as more vulnerable to the outbreak.

Two areas in the capital -- Basabo and Mirpur’s Tolarbagh, and entire Narayanganj were declared 'cluster zones' -- areas with the highest number of patients detected at shortest distances. Besides, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) traced virus has already spread in as many as 125 areas of the capital.

Professor of Medicine at Dhaka Medical College Dr Khan Md Abul Kalam Azad said that five reasons caused the rise in the Covid-19 patients in Dhaka. “Expatriates, who returned the country recently, stayed in the capital for a while and they met people here. Some expatriates went home and then came back to Dhaka, did shopping, and went out,” Khan explained.

Meanwhile, the health department, in its health bulletin, stated that people leaving from Dhaka and Narayanganj spread the virus in these places. Till the second week of April, 56 percent of coronavirus patients were detected in the capital, which dropped to 40 percent on Monday. Lockdown was imposed in Gazipur and Narayanganj to contain the virus. Police banned in and out to the districts. However, the number of cases is on the rise.

As people, mostly workers, left Gazipur and Narayanganj, several other places have tuned into 'hotspots' for coronavirus, namely Keraniganj, Kishoreganj and Mymensingh. One of the reasons to spread the virus the announcement of opening and closing of garment factories, argued Prof Kabir, who is a medicine specialist.

Virologist Dr Nazrul Islam said, “Thousands of apparel workers entered Gazipur, Narayanganj and the neighborhood of Dhaka after the decision to open the factories was announced. Most of them were from Kishoreganj, Narsingdi and Mymensingh.” As the garments were closed, they carried the virus to other districts before spreading it in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Gazipur, said Dr Nazrul, who is a former Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and teaches virology at the university.