Health Secretary Mannan, Additional DG Nasima contract COVID-19

Health Secretary Abdul Mannan and Nasima Sultana, additional director general of health services, have tested positive for coronavirus.

Mannan has been admitted to Sheikh Russel National Gastrolever Institute and Hospital, an official of the health ministry said on Friday.

Dr Golam Kibria, a joint director at the hospital, said they admitted Mannan in the afternoon and he was in a “good condition”.

Mannan lost his wife Kamrun Nahar to COVID-19 days after he took charge as health secretary in June last year.

He was among the first in Bangladesh who got the Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, during a dry run by the end of January before the mass inoculation began.

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Professor Dr Nasima of the DGHS revealed her infection in a Facebook post. “After working for more than 365 days in a row, I got infected with Corona with symptoms,” she wrote on Friday.

“May the great Allah protect the mankind, the people of Bangladesh from this epidemic. Amen,” she added.

Later, she told bdnews24.com that she was doing “well”.

Nasima has become a familiar name in Bangladesh since she began presenting data on COVID-19 in the daily press briefing on behalf of the Directorate General of Health Services.

She also received the vaccine during the dry run and urged others to take it.

Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of health services, and some other officials of the directorate and the health ministry contracted the coronavirus recently. Khurshid is still in isolation at home.

Bangladesh is currently experiencing a record surge in coronavirus infection. The number of confirmed cases in the daily count jumped to 6,830 on Friday, the highest on record, after the government reported 6,469 cases on Thursday.