WHAT IS COVID-19? 

On December 31, 2019 World Health Organization’s (WHO) China office heard the first reports of a previously unknown virus behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in Eastern China with a population of over 11 million. This new virus, officially called COVID-19, are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals, which are then transmitted to humans. Some coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States and usually cause upper respiratory symptoms, such as cough or runny nose, although some can cause more serious illness. 

The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus causes the illness COVID-19 in which the symptoms of the disease appear between 2-14 days after exposure, such as fever, cough & shortness of breath. Till date COVID-19 has affected 188 countries & territories around the world plus one International Conveyance – the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship harboured in Yokohama, Japan.  

Globally, a total of 307,037 people has been infected with the virus with 14,652 deaths and 95,795 recovered from the disease. In Bangladesh, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in March 7, 2020 by IEDCR; a total of 381 people has been tested for coronavirus out of which 24 cases have been confirmed positive. The first death was reported on March 18, 2020 followed by the second one on March 21, 2020. Till date, 3 persons have been recovered but there are still 19 active cases in Bangladesh. 

This infection is spreading much quicker than expected – the University of Austin, Texas has found that the time between cases in a chain of transmission is less than 7 days and that more than 10% of patients are infected by somebody who has the virus but have not yet shown any symptom of the disease.