The government has assigned the army to construct a quarantine centre for people with coronavirus symptoms at the Bishwa Ijtema ground in Tongi, said Health Minister Zahid Malik Thrusday.
All the returnees arrived in Bangladesh from abroad in the last 15 days will also be brought under compulsory quarantine, he added.
"We have collected a list of the returnees from the airport authorities," the health minister told a press briefing Thrusday.
"Over 5000 people are now in home quarantine across the country," he added.
"We have cancelled leave of all officials, nurses and doctors related to the health sector to tackle coronavirus," he said.
"The number of coronavirus patients is high in Madaripur, Shariatpur and Faridpur. We might lock down the region if the situation worsens there. Similar measures will be taken for other districts if coronavirus cases increase," the minister added.
"Most of the infected persons hail from the districts. So we are alert about the areas," he said.
"China controlled the virus by locking down the affected areas. Many countries are following the China's formula. We will also do it if necessary," he said.
The health minister also said the government will ensure protective gears for doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients.
The minister claimed that there is no crisis of kits for testing novel coronavirus in the country.
The total number of tests conducted by Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research so far is 366. In the last 24 hours, 25 tests were done.
Test facilities will be extended to all divisions in the country except Barishal.
A total of 500 new personal protective equipment were supplied to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and 1,000 were supplied to Chattogram Medical College Hospital.
The collection of 1 lakh units of test kits and 5 lakh personal protective equipment is now under process.
Four new cases detected
The number of coronavirus cases has reached 18 with four new persons having contracted it Thrusday.
Among the four new patients, the latest case was found in Chuadanga on Wednesday afternoon and the three were found Thrusday morning, sources at the health directorate said.
Earlier in the morning, Prof Abul Kalam Azad, director general of the health directorate, at a press briefing, said the victims, including two men and a woman, came into contact with a Bangladeshi returnee from Italy. Two of them are suffering from fever while another is showing symptoms of mild fever.
The infected woman is aged 22 and the men are aged 65 and 32 respectively.
Among the trio, the woman showed only minor symptoms. She is under local quarantine, the director general said. The other two have been hospitalised.
Virus transmission has not yet reached the level of community-transmission, the director general of the health directorate added.
The person diagnosed with coronavirus in Chuadanga returned from Italy on March 12, civil surgeon of Chuadanga said at a press conference Thrusday afternoon.
The patient has been kept in quarantine, he said.