Study finds 9pc Dhaka dwellers infected with coronavirus

A study jointly conducted by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh found that about nine per cent Dhaka city dwellers could be COVID-19 positive.

The IEDCR and ICDDR,B revealed the preliminary finding of the study late on Monday, which suggested that the rate of COVID-19 infection is relatively low among the slum dwellers.

Only six per cent of slum dwellers tested as part of the study were found COVID-19 positive, according to the study.

The two organisations surveyed 3,227 households under Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation between April 18 and July 5 for the study.

It identified 211 symptomatic individuals, and 199 of them were tested for the novel coronavirus using RT-PCR testing method.

A total of 435 asymptomatic individuals were selected from symptomatic households, of which 201 were tested and 827 asymptomatic individuals were selected from asymptomatic households, of which 538 were tested.

An additional sample was collected from 720 households of six slums in Dhaka city.

A total of 30 per cent of the symptomatic individuals, 14 per cent of asymptomatic individuals from symptomatic households and 8 per cent of the asymptomatic individuals from asymptomatic households had COVID-19, the study found.

Overall, nine per cent among all individuals in Dhaka on the day of the visit was estimated as RT-PCR +ve, it said.

Among the confirmed COVID-19 cases, who exhibited symptoms during the study, 93 per cent had a fever, 36 per cent had a cough, 17 per cent had a sore throat, and only five per cent had shortness of breath on the day of testing.

Only one death was reported among all the COVID-19 cases under the study with one month of follow-up.

According to official figure, Bangladesh has currently 2,60,507 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

With an estimated 20 million population in Dhaka, the study now suggests, the capital alone has now around 18 lakh cases of coronavirus.