DHAKA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Eleven new cases of A/H1N1 flu have been
detected in Bangladesh taking the total number to 98 while officials feared it
could reach 70,000 to 80,000 within two to three months, local newspapers
reported on Saturday.
Among the 11 new cases confirmed on Friday, six were imported, Director of
Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research(IEDCR) under health
ministry Mahmudur Rahman, according to leading English-language newspaper The
"We cannot avoid a pandemic like the swine flu," Mahmud was quoting as
saying. He said the health ministry is conducting 13 surveillance programs to
check the swine flu across the country.
Meanwhile, English-language newspaper The Independent on Saturday said that
health officials apprehend an explosion in the number of cases in the next
couple of months.
The newspaper also quoted Mahmudur Rahman as saying that "We might see an
explosion in number of cases in the coming weeks and it could reach 70,000 to
80,000 within two to three months."
Health minister AFM Ruhul Huq has voiced concern as the A/H1N1 virus was
spreading steadily. He urged people not to panic as he claimed government was
well-prepared to tackle the situation, The Independent said.
The health ministry has also claimed that the public health system is well
equipped to handle a large outbreak with enough stock of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu),
the drug proven effective against A/H1N1 flu virus.
Screening measures have been beefed up in the country's 11 landports
recently with neighboring India reporting 36 deaths from swine flu and over a
thousand confirmed cases of the disease.
Mahmud said presently the IEDCR has the only laboratory in the city for
diagnosing swine flu while another lab in Dhaka is ready to extend support.
However, local experts blamed the government for showing lack of activity.
"In such critical moment government should be on war-footing," virologist
Professor Nazrul Islam was quoted by The Independent assaying.
He said the government is not working properly and the government's efforts
lack coordination. People are not still aware of the danger of swine flu,
slackness was also noticed in the screening program, he said.
The first A/H1N1 flu case was confirmed in Bangladesh on June 18.
World Tackles A/H1N1