An elderly man has died from coronavirus in Bangladesh, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) said on Wednesday.
"We’ve lost a human life in the country for the first time due to Covid-19. He was an elderly man and had many medical conditions, including damaged lungs, diabetes and high blood pressure," IEDCR Director Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora said at its regular media briefing.
She said four more people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, taking the number of coronavirus cases in the country to 14.
"One of the four new patients is female while the rest male. One of them is the family member of a previously recorded patient while the three others are imported cases. Two are Italy-returnees and one came from Kuwait," Dr Flora said.
About the deceased, she said the patient was aged over 70 and had various medical conditions.
"The patient had COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems for which he had stenting. So, he was already an emergency case...it’s a bad news indeed that we’ve lost a life for the first time in the country from Covid-19," the IEDCR director said.
She said the deceased came in contact with his relative who came from the USA.
According to the IEDCR, currently 16 people are in isolation and 42 in institutional quarantine.
Forty-nine more people were tested for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the total number to 341.
"IEDCR received 4,857 calls in the past 24 hours and of them 4,642 were about coronavirus. Besides, 25 people visited IEDCR directly," said Dr Flora.
To resolve the crisis in reaching the IEDCR through its hotline numbers, its director announced three alternatives.
"You can email us and contact our Facebook page. Apart from this, we’re developing an app for reaching the IEDCR. Please use these three methods instead of calling," she said.
Dr Flora said the IEDCR is in talks with hospitals to manage the issue of doctors and staff panicking over coronavirus-like symptoms and not treating patients.
She also reiterated that the government will be taking legal actions if anyone does not follow home quarantine rules.
On March 8, the IEDCR announced for the first time the detection of three Covid-19 patients in Bangladesh.
Of them, two were Italy-returnees while the third one was the wife of one of them. However, all of them have already recovered from the disease.
On March 14, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said two more coronavirus cases were detected in the country.
On Monday, the IEDCR announced the detection of three more patients from the same family while two more on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the coronavirus or COVID-19 has reached 7,987 globally as of Wednesday.
It has so far infected 198,426 people around the world, according to worldometer.
Of them, 107,676 are currently being treated with 6,415 being in serious or critical condition.
So far, 90,750 cases had outcomes and of them, 82,763 (91 percent) recovered and 9 percent died.
COVID-19 is affecting 162 countries and territories around the world and one international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harboured in Yokohama, Japan).
The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic.