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The Financial Express

Covid-R value in ‘dangerous’ zone

Health experts say country’s virus infections close to ‘peak’


| Updated: June 28, 2020 16:46:02


Covid-R value in ‘dangerous’ zone

The reproduction number of R value of Covid-19 in Bangladesh is 1.5.

With R value remaining more than 1.0, the number of virus cases is likely to rise exponentially.

Under the current infection scenario, one Covid-19 patient is infecting, on an average, another 1.5 persons or every 10 patients are now transmitting the virus to 15 more people.

The R value rose to 1.5 from that of 1.12 in the recent past, according to an IEDCR analysis.

Public health experts shared the information at a virtual discussion titled 'Corona in Bangladesh: A Six Months Review' organised by Bangladesh Health Reporters' Forum (BHRF)on Friday.

Director general of DGHS Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad, former DG of DGHS and medicine expert Professor Dr MA Foyez, public health expert and former pro vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Professor Dr Rashid E Mahbub, member of the national technical advisory committee Professor Dr Iqbal Arsalan, and former principal scientific officer of IEDCR Dr Mushtak Hossain took part in the discussion, moderated by BHRF president Toufiq Maruf.

The public health experts also warned that the country is already close to the peak of virus infection and it would increase further during the time of upcoming Eid-ul-Azha if movement of the people cannot be controlled.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the average reproduction or R of corona virus is 2 to 2.5. But this value may undergo changes, depending on the region and geographical location of a country.

If R is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but if it is below 1, the outbreak shrinks.

The speakers criticised the lack of coordination between the DG health and other relevant agencies in controlling the pandemic.

Besides, they identified the lack of proper planning, skilled health workforce and infrastructure, and inability to make effective use of the local experts' knowledge.

They also pointed out that the people were still found reluctant to follow the health guidelines.

Professor Abul Kalam Azad said that it is difficult to have a plan to control a pandemic which is totally unknown to the whole world.

He felt that the health ministry and the DG health have taken proper and timely initiatives to contain the outbreak.

He claimed that even WHO was clueless about the situation relating to the pandemic.

The DG said that he was not aware about any irregularities in the DG health. It will be looked after by the Anti-Corruption Commission as they have already started investigation.

He said the financial authority is totally vested in the line directors.

msshova@gmail.com

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