People’s lack of awareness on coronavirus frustrates Chinese medical team; it would submit 4 reports to Bangladesh


Dhaka, June 21: Visiting Chinese medical expert team has expressed their frustration about lack of awareness among people in Bangladesh on the deadly novel coronavirus.The experts said Bangladesh conducted very few sample test but it praised the physicians and other health workers saying that they are doing outstanding jobs despite being fewer in number.

However, China will submit four specific reports to Bangladesh containing recommendations on how Bangladesh can better deal with the coronavirus situation.

The reports will be handed over to the Health Ministry here through the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka within a week as the Chinese medical experts team leaves Dhaka on Monday.

Minister Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka Hualong Yan came up with the information during a Zoom briefing for members of Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) on Sunday.

Earlier, Dr Shuming Xianyu made a presentation on their works.

At the beginning of the briefing, DCAB President Angur Nahar Monty also delivered her remarks.

Responding to a question, Yan, who accompanied the team during all the meetings, said it is difficult to say whether peak has arrived in Bangladesh or not.

He said the researchers can only say how long the virus will last in the world.

“Cooperation is very important bilaterally and multilaterlly,” said the diplomat adding that one country alone cannot solve the problem.

He said they find the situation totally different in Bangladesh compared to China and the team suggested ways that suit the situation of Bangladesh.

They identified lack of public awareness as one of the problems and highly appreciated Bangladesh’s healthwokers saying they are very hard working.

The 10-member team of experts, who has the firsthand experience of containing the virus and treating patients with remarkable success, came to Bangladesh with a bunch of medical equipment.

The Chinese Embassy said it shows one of the reflections of President Xi Jinping’s assurance to the reality.

The team is organised by the National Health Commission and consists of 10 respiratory physicians selected by the Hainan Provincial Health Commission, according to the officials at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.

In their two weeks stay in Bangladesh, the experts visited designated hospitals, quarantine centres, and testing centres, discussed on the epidemics with Bangladeshi counterparts, and made calibrated propositions for containment and treatment.

As Bangladesh’s fight against COVID-19 continued to become fiercer, Xi Jinping had a phone conversation with Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, on May 20.

During the talks, President Xi reassured Prime Minister Hasina of standing by Bangladesh as the truest friend in this all-out war against COVID-19.

Earlier, the visiting Chinese medical team said masks should not be reused and asymptomatic patients can also be contagious.

However, the use time of individual masks can be extended a bit sometimes, they said.

During two weeks of interactions, the Bangladesh side highlighted their current challenges and the experts sought to guide them sharing the successful experience on containment and prevention of the pandemic as well as treatments of COVID patients achieved in Wuhan and other parts of China.

In response to relevant questions of Bangladesh side, the Chinese experts said that the virus can survive in patient’s body for 60 days in extreme cases with two weeks of incubation period.

On the reemergence of positive symptoms in patient’s body after recovery, the team led by LI Wenxiu pointed at two possible reasons; there is perhaps something wrong with the test results and no permanent immunity is obtained after recovery.

About the measures of successful determination of the suspected cases, the experts advised to check on contact history, typical symptoms, abnormal blood routine, and lung CT image.

They also talked about the differences between KN95 and N95 masks saying that KN95 is for industrial dust and N95 is for preventing liquid spillage.

Fruitful discussions

As for another very important question about whether an asymptomatic infected person is contagious, the Chinese experts answered, “Yes, it can be contagious, which is why the persons should be treated as the ordinary COVID patients.”

During the special session with the top medical professionals from Chattogram and Sylhet, both sides talked about various fundamental strategies to have a successful fight against the pandemic.

To avoid infection in laboratory personnel, the Chinese team advised that thorough disinfection is necessary while every single resumption begins.

On sample transferring, they said the whole process should have special channels for collection, transportation and access to the laboratory, and most of all the samples must be sealed in three layers.

While replying to a question about whether the COVID patients need special treatment if they have other lung infections, the experts suggested that the original disease and COVID-19 symptoms should be treated simultaneously, and the etiology needs to be tested first to make the decision on which antibiotics have to be used.

Asked about what to do after the death of COVID-19 patients, they answered that the deceased should be disinfected all over the body, wrapped in two impermeable bags and then transported to the decided place for burial.