Md Billal Hossen
The number of corona virus infected persons is increasing alarmingly in Bangladesh as the time goes up. Along with the infected patient, the death rate is also increasing in the same manner.
The total number of infected cases in Bangladesh is 1,02,292 and the total number of death is 1,343 as of 18th June 2020. Now the question is ‘why the rate of infection is increasing’? Yes, there is a reason behind this increment and the reason is an asymptomatic transmission of corona virus. The word asymptomatic is a scientific terminology where ‘A’ means ‘not’ or ‘without’ and ‘symptomatic’ means ‘symptoms of the disease’ that is the disease that has no visible symptoms is called asymptomatic. Asymptomatic transmission is when a person who has no symptoms of Covid-19 such as fever, body ache, cough etc. and transmits the novel corona virus to another person. This definition indicates that asymptomatic patients are like ‘walking corona bomb’ who is silently spreading the corona virus in the community as well as the whole country. They are freely roaming around with invisible symptoms and badly fueling the corona virus pandemic.
As Bangladesh government eases lockdown for the sake of livelihoods, it has become easier to spread Covid-19 from one person to another through an asymptomatic transmission. Actually, this is now happening in our country and the driver of this viral spike is asymptomatic individuals. Though there is no article or evidence published regarding this issue in our country yet but there are some articles and evidence published in international journals and newspapers.
An article published in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that asymptomatic infections may account for as much as 45% of all Covid-19 cases and playing a significant role in the early and ongoing spread of Covid-19. Another study from China published in Nature Medicine on April 15 estimated that 44% of cases were asymptomatic or who has no visible symptoms. On the other hand, shocking statistics published by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) suggests that 69% of the infected patient were asymptomatic in April 2020 in India. In Singapore, at least half of new Covid-19 cases were asymptomatic said by the co-head of the government’s virus taskforce. This is because the authority eases lockdown after 2 months in Singapore.
All this information indicates how dangerous the asymptomatic infection would be and how easily it can affect the whole community silently. In Bangladesh after lifting lockdown on 31st May 2020, the people were moving around without heeding proper personal hygiene and avoiding social distancing. As a result, the ‘corona bomb’ started blasting silently and putting the nation into the danger of the pandemic. In this way, the infected patient is increasing day by day. The silent spread of the virus makes it more challenging to control. In the case of Bangladesh, it has become challenging to control this pandemic with limited resources, healthcare facilities and limited testing capability. If we could not control the blasting of ‘corona virus bomb’ it will continue to evade us. To protect us from the Covid-19 we need to follow the WHO and DGHS guidelines. If we wear masks and gloves outside the home, maintain social distancing as much as possible, maintain good personal hygiene by washing hands frequently and avoid mass gatherings, we will be able to protect us a bit from the corona virus. We need to identify the hidden carrier of Covid-19 as quickly as possible and isolate them to prevent corona virus disease. The Covid-19 testing laboratory needs to be decentralized to ensure equal testing facilities for all. To mitigate the pandemic expansive testing and contact tracing are the most important tool. As we know, our testing capability is low so it is important to increase the corona virus testing laboratory to curb this deadly virus. If we cannot ensure expansive testing facilities for all otherwise we will have to pay a heavy price and ultimately we will lose control over Covid-19 situation. We must work together to defeat this pandemic. Let’s stay home and stay safe.
(Writer is MS student in the Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Technology in Islamic University, Bangladesh. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)