National, Front Page

Over 4,000 frontline fighters bearing the brunt

Published : 16 May 2020 10:19 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 06:00 PM

More than 4,000 frontline fighters including health workers, police, and journalists have contracted the novel coronavirus as they fought the highly contagious across the country since the beginning.

Data from different sources complied by the Bangladesh Post shows members of law enforcement agencies were most-affected, followed by the heath workers.

As of Saturday, some 2382 members of Bangladesh Police so far have been infected with coronavirus across the country, according to the police's corona control room.

Of them, a maximum of 241 cases of Covid-19 among police was reported in a single day, the sources added.
Top doctors’ body Bangladesh Medical Association, which tracks infection among health workers, said some 1,555 doctors, nurses and medical staff contracted the virus across the country till May 14.A sharp rise of infection was reported among the media professionals. As of May 15, some 114 media workers from 50 outlets were infected with coronavirus and one died from it, according to online rights groups ‘Our Media, Our Rights’.

Some 24 members of Fire Service and Civil Defense so far have contracted the virus, the government agency said in a statement on Saturday.

Public health experts said frontline workers are more exposed to the virus due to nature of the work. Maintaining physical distancing, following hygiene guidelines and boosting immune system are must to fight this deadly contagious virus.

“Doctors, nurses, police and journalists get infected due to the nature of their jobs. The clothes they wear must be washed and disinfected twice a day,” Dr Shahnewaz Hakim, a medicine professor at Dhaka Medical College, told the Bangladesh Post.

“Avoid touching nose and mouth and use hand sanitizer, if possible wear personal protective equipments (PPEs) to carry out duties,” he urged the frontline workers.

Citing this is a most crucial moment for frontliners, especially doctors, police and journalists, cardiovascular surgeon Aminul Islam said delivery men of different agencies are also exposed to the virus.

“As Ramadan is underway, eat fruits and foods those are easily digestible after iftar to boost up immune system and do maintain physical distance,” he added.

Meanwhile the government moved to scale up the testing as coronavirus reaches its peak in Bangladesh.
“Testing of more than 8,500 samples was conducted on Friday. We want to take it to 15,000. As the number of patients is on the rise, the number of designated hospitals for coronavirus treatment is also being increased,” Health Minister Zahid Maleque told the media last week.

Doctors, nurses and health workers are working relentlessly with 2,000 new doctors and 5,000 new nurses have been recruited to broaden the coronavirus treatment, Maleque added.