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​Coronavirus – a fast-moving virus originated in China – has spread to more than 206 countries and already claimed more than 474,954 lives. While most cases were in China, the virus which causes pneumonia-like symptoms is now spreading faster globally. As per WHO’s daily situation report, over 9,214,589 confirmed cases have been reported as of 23 June 2020.

Simple steps to fight Coronavirus

Amidst this global crisis, Bangladesh has been identified as one of the 25 most vulnerable countries to be affected by the fast-spreading virus; the first three patients of COVID-19 being identified on 8 March 2020. Now, we have a total of 119,198 cases with 1,545 deaths. While there is no known cure for the virus, different institutions in China and other countries, including the US, are working on coming up with a vaccine to save lives at the earliest.  

A boy is being shown on how to wash hands

While we await a global solution to reach us in the coming weeks, right now it's critical that we protect the health of ourselves, our loved ones and the people in our communities most at risk from the virus. And the best way to do so is by continuing to practise good hygiene. Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap is the first line of defence against diseases like COVID-19.


WaterAid is currently working with the government on establishing hygiene behaviour change programmes. We have also partnered with WHO and IEDCR in developing messaging to raise awareness across as many platforms and to as many people as possible. 

A man washing his hands at a public toilet

Going forward, we will continue to build on the work we already do to make sure everyone, everywhere understands the value of good hygiene, specifically focusing on:

  • Creating a nationwide call to action for cleaning hands with soap at critical times, additionally alerting people to be more careful, self-responsible and be responsible towards others.

  • Developing and disseminating frequent messages related to hygiene behaviour across media and social media platforms in two main categories: information and prevention.

  • Taking a ‘do no harm’ approach, i.e. no community engagement/people to people contact to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.

  • Providing technical support to government-led hygiene initiatives.

What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?

No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.

How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.

Making handwashing with soap a habit

The nationwide campaign has reached over 8 million individuals in its first phase through online & offline activations. We have stepped into the second phase of the program early this month. Let's continue washing our hands frequently.

Know the story

If you think you are having symptoms related to COVID-19, please don't panic. Instead, call Shastho Batayon at 16263.

Three goals. One team.

Clean water, proper sanitation, and good hygiene help everyone around the world live happy and healthy lives.

Email us at [email protected]

Let's make this normal for everyone, everywhere, always.