A Dhaka University (DU) student named Jahir Uddin has left campus and gone home even before the start of the Eid vacation out of extreme panic over the spread of dengue.
“I thought that it would be good for me to go home. Now I am fine,” said Jahir.
“The DU campus has turned into a safe haven for Aedes mosquitos. The number of students infected with the mosquito-borne disease is increasing day by day.”Jahir was talking to The Business Standard over the phone.
Like him, most students of Dhaka University have left campus for fear of contracting dengue fever after one of their fellows died and many others were diagnosed with it.
Panic has also gripped students at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and the Eden Mohila College, and many of them have already left campus.
While visiting the campuses and halls of these universities and colleges, this correspondent saw that they wore a forlorn look with a very thin presence of students – be it in classrooms or in dorms.
DU will go on a nine-day Eid vacation from August 7, and classes will resume on August 16. The Eid vacation for Dhaka Medical College, BUET and Eden Mohila College will begin from August 8.
Meanwhile, DU has postponed the dengue diagnosis test in the absence of testing kits.
The detection tests were done only for two days – last Wednesday and Thursday – then the testing kits ran out.
“The dengue diagnosis tests will resume from Tuesday.” “We are sorry for the unexpected postponement due to the shortage of kits,” said Dr Sarwar Jahan, chief medical officer of the Dhaka University Medical Centre.
“We have identified 21 students infected with dengue in two days,” he said.
At least 10 students of his college were infected with dengue, said Sumit, a third year student of Dhaka Medical college.
“I panicked. That is why I came home. Now I am well.”
A DU student named Firoz Kabir died of dengue on July 27.
This finance department student, who was from Thakurgaon, used to live in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall.
Firoz died at Square Hospital, said Md Mofizur Rahman, provost of Bangabandhu Hall.
After his death, a number of students formed a human chain to demanded the closure of the university until it was declared free of dengue.
Fatema Akhter Shanta, a second-year student of the Accounting Department at Eden Mohila College, also died of dengue at the Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital in Dhaka on August 4.
“We requested the administration to close the university after the students panicked. But they did not respond to our call,” Nurul Haque Nur, vice-president of Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU) told this correspondent.
“You now see what is happing in the university. Students cannot even get their dengue tests done because of a lack of testing kits. This is very unfortunate,” Nurul Haque added.
Professor Dr Akhtaruzzaman, Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University, told The Business Standard that they are trying their best to save students from dengue and similar infections.
“We have asked all the authorities concerned to keep their areas clean. We have also launched a week-long cleaning programme,” he said.