Study indicates 1.8 million in Bangladesh capital could be infected by Covid-19

Dhaka, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- Around nine percent of the 20 million residents of Dhaka, amounting to some 1.8 million people, could be infected by the novel coronavirus, according to a study conducted by the Bangladeshi authorities.

The study was jointly conducted by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and Dhaka-based International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, in the capital between Apr.18 and Jul.5.

“This study reveals the grim reality of coronavirus situation in Dhaka. The real scenario could be even worse than this as many people don’t know that they are carrying the virus,” non-profit Public Health Foundation’s Vice President Samir Kumar Saha told EFE on Tuesday.

The preliminary report of the study was released late Monday following a survey of 3,227 households in Dhaka.

A total 211 symptomatic individuals were identified, of whom 199 were tested for the Covid-19 using RT-PCR testing method, according to a statement by the IEDCR.

Moreover, 201 asymptomatic individuals from symptomatic households, and 538 asymptomatic people from asymptomatic households were tested.

An additional sample was collected from 720 households across six slums in the city of Dhaka.

Some 30 percent of the symptomatic individuals, 14 percent of the asymptomatic individuals from symptomatic households and eight percent of the asymptomatic individuals from asymptomatic households were found to have been infected by Covid-19, according to the study.

“Overall, nine percent among all individuals in Dhaka on the day of the visit was estimated as RT-PCR +ve,” the statement said.

However, only six percent of the slum dwellers who underwent testing were found to be positive.

Among those symptomatic individuals found to have contracted the dreaded coronavirus, 93 percent had fever, 36 percent had cough, 17 percent had sore throat, and only five per cent had shortness of breath on the day of testing, said IEDCR.

Only person among the confirmed cases died, said the study that was assisted by USAID and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dhaka currently accounts for 25 percent of the 260,507 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bangladesh, a country that has been struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Bangladesh had imposed a lockdown on March 26 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which in turn dealt a severe blow to the country’s economy.

The restrictions were then eased on May 31, except in the worst affected areas. EFE-EPA


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