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14 Jun 2020

Shehab Sumon, Arab News

Bangladesh: Nearly 1,200 healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19, lack of protective equipment and inadequate testing to blame

"Bangladesh loses doctors to COVID-19", 15 June 2020

Dr. Sabrina Arif Chaudhury says working with fear was not something she ever expected as a heart surgeon in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Everything changed in April when the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak began to spread across the country, infecting thousands and killing mostly doctors on the frontline.

Coupled with the risk of contracting the deadly disease is the added stress of putting in 12 hours of work, as opposed to the usual eight, to support the strained health sector during the pandemic...

As frontline workers dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country, Bangladeshi doctors are now some its foremost victims. At least 36 doctors have died from the disease in the past two months alone, according to the Bangladesh Doctors’ Foundation (BDF).

As of Sunday, around 1,200 doctors had tested positive for the disease.  

Das reasons the high rate of death among doctors is owing to the fact that several of them had been brought in from adjacent areas to treat infected patients in the capital.

...There are other reasons for the high fatality count as well. These include a lack of testing facilities in the early stages of the pandemic, scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors, and lack of doctors’ familiarity with PPE use and disposal, to name a few.


As of Sunday, a total of 317,000 people have been tested, with 60,785 placed under quarantine, according to a statement by the Directorate General of Health Services.