Bangladesh minister dies of coronavirus

Dhaka, June 14 (efe-epa) – A minister in the Bangladesh government succumbed to the novel coronavirus, as tests conducted after his death at a hospital in Dhaka revealed he was suffering from Covid-19, officials said on Sunday.

Junior minister for religious affairs, Sheikh Abdullah, died around 11:00pm on Saturday at the Combined Military Hospital.

“He was feeling chest pain and (had) breathing problems, doctors declared him dead once he reached the hospital. He died possibly on his way,” his colleague, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, revealed to EFE.

“His sample was taken for coronavirus test after his death and today it came positive,” said Chowdhury, who is the state minister for shipping.

This makes Abdullah, 75, the senior-most Bangladesh official to die from Covid-19, which has claimed over 1,100 lives in the South Asian country.

Earlier on Saturday, former Health Minister Mohammed Nasim passed away at a Dhaka hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for Covid-19.

Government spokesperson Chowdhury said Nasim, who had held the health portfolio between 2014 and 2019, was admitted to the hospital Jun.1 after having tested positive for the coronavirus. He also suffered a stroke after being admitted.

At least two other ministers have also tested positive for the coronavirus and are currently undergoing treatment at a hospital.

According to the health authorities, there were 2,856 fresh cases of Covid-19 detected on Saturday, taking total to 84,379 confirmed cases, including 1,139 deaths.

Moreover, 1,003 doctors and 1,010 nurses have been found to have been infected with the highly infectious coronavirus in the country.

Bangladesh on Saturday overtook China in the total number of coronavirus cases and is now 18th on the list of most-affected nations, according to data released by John Hopkins University in the United States.

Bangladesh imposed a lockdown in the country on Mar.26 to check the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the move dealt a blow to the country’s economy and caused significant unemployment, especially in the textile sector, which contributed nearly 84 percent of the country’s total exports in 2018-19 when it shipped products worth $34 billion.

The country-wide lockdown measures were lifted on May 31, but they still continue to remain in force in certain parts of the country that are severely-affected by the disease. EFE-EPA


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