Friday, June 5, 2020 | ePaper

Community transmission started

Everyone from home quarantine needs test: Prof Dr Muzaherul Huq

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Reza Mahmud :
Every returnee who came back home from abroad recently have to take institutional quarantine and must be tested as soon as possible, said Professor Dr. M. Muzaherul Huq, former Regional Adviser of World Health Organisation (WHO) told The New Nation on Monday.
"In Bangladesh perspectives, home quarantine is not workable here. Whom the government sent to stay in home quarantine is not maintaining. Most of them are found attending different social events like marriage ceremony and others. So, the government should bring them in institutional quarantine and test all of them as soon as podssible," he said.
Prof. Muzaherul said those detected Covid-19 positive, they should be sent isolations in hospitals and others be released.
The health expert said that the main hazardous matter was sending the returnee expatriates to home quarantine.
People of our country are not used to follow the system of social distancing.
In our villages, all members of a family used to use one washroom, he added.
He said, "It is not realistic, not practical in our country to keep some people in home quarantine because
they are not aware enough to follow the directions of health department properly."
So, home quarantine system must be violated there in the villages.
In urban areas, it may work as the quarantined person may stay in a room with attached bathroom. It may say room quarantine, not home quarantine.
But it has to be monitored that if they follow the system strictly because it is highly sensitive matter for the public health and people's lives.
In these circumstances, the authorities concerned, should closely monitor the matter.
"But my suggestion is to take every suspected person under proper screening," he said.
Prof. Muzaherul said, "As per the WHO's directives, government has to follow the rule to test, test and test. Not any suspects, including the returnee expatriates, let to go without test. Every one of them should be tested as soon as possible to contain the spread of novel coronavirus."
The former WHO adviser said, the community transmission has already started in the country. So, there is no time to delay start testing.
It is good news that the government has extended test facilities among cities across the country. It had to start long days back.
The expert expressed his worry about the number of returnees from abroad who go out of trace.
Asking if the law enforcers find them out in this lockdown situation as everyone is now staying home, he said it is not easy to find out the returnees from the locality.
But, it is ward members of village areas and ward councillors in urban areas, who can identify the expatriates or returnees from abroad.
They should start search to identify such people to keep them under test and to bring into quarantine, he said.


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