Coronavirus lockdown police officers in Bangladesh get infected 

Around 10,000 members of Bangladesh's armed forces are working to contain the coronavirus outbreak, but the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) department said Saturday that the situation was under control. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 25 April 2020

Coronavirus lockdown police officers in Bangladesh get infected 

  • Health experts say police need proper training

DHAKA: Police officers tasked with enforcing a coronavirus lockdown in Bangladesh have contracted the disease.

More than 200,000 officers are working around the clock to ensure that people obey lockdown conditions in Bangladesh, where there are 4,998 confirmed cases and a death toll of 140.

More than 660 police officers have been placed in quarantine and 262 have become infected.

“During this health emergency, police members are in close contact with people — limiting mass gatherings, taking people to hospitals, taking food and essentials to individuals' homes, searching and checking suspicious people — all these tasks create a higher risk of being infected,” Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general of police headquarters, told Arab News. 

He added that provisions had been made at three hospitals to treat the infected officers. “We are keeping the groups away from each other and are sending a separate roster to each of the teams. We are keeping alternative plans so that our services to maintain law and order are not hampered.”

Health experts said police officers should be given proper training on infection control.

“Although police members used some forms of personal protective equipment (PPE), training on infection control and supervision on infection control practice may be lacking, making them more susceptible to the infection," Prof. Be-Nazir Ahmed, former director at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told Arab News.  

He said that the government should maximize its efforts to trace, test and treat every case and continue social distancing.

The government has extended public holidays until May 5 to limit the number of infections. 

Around 10,000 members of Bangladesh's armed forces are also working to contain the outbreak, but the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) department said Saturday that the situation was under control.

“A few of the members of our armed forces who got infected with coronavirus while working on the ground are doing well. The number of our infected members are very negligible, and the situation is very much under control," Lt. Colonel Abdullah Ibne Jayed, ISPR director, told Arab News.


Proteins in COVID-19 patients’ blood could predict severity of illness, study finds

Updated 13 min 39 sec ago

Proteins in COVID-19 patients’ blood could predict severity of illness, study finds

  • The markers could lead to the development of a test that would help doctors predict how ill a patient might get
  • Could also provide new targets for the development of potential treatments for the disease

LONDON: Scientists have found 27 key proteins in the blood of people infected with COVID-19 which they say could act as predictive biomarkers for how ill a patient could become with the disease.
In research published in the journal Cell Systems on Tuesday, scientists at Britain’s Francis Crick Institute and Germany’s Charite Universitaetsmedizin Berlin found the proteins are present in different levels in COVID-19 patients, depending on the severity of their symptoms.
The markers could lead to the development of a test that would help doctors predict how ill a patient might get when infected with the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, they said, and could also provide new targets for the development of potential treatments for the disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 374,000 people worldwide and infected more than 6.7 million.
Doctors and scientists say those infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, respond differently — with some developing no symptoms at all, while others need to be hospitalized and others suffer fatal infection.
“A test to help doctors predict whether a COVID-19 patient is likely to become critical or not would be invaluable,” said Christoph Messner, an expert in molecular biology at the Crick Institute who co-led the research.
He said such tests would help doctors decide how best manage the disease for each patient, as well as identify those most at risk of needing hospital treatment or intensive care.
Messner’s team used a method called mass spectrometry to rapidly test for the presence and quantity of various proteins in blood plasma from 31 COVID-19 patients at Berlin’s Charite hospital. They then validated their results in 17 other patients with COVID-19 at the same hospital, and in 15 healthy people who acted as controls.
Three of the key proteins identified were linked with interleukin IL-6, a protein known to cause inflammation and also a known marker for severe COVID-19 symptoms.