The day the government announced that the two months long general holiday would end, Bangladesh recorded the highest single day infection rate – 21.8 percent.
Our infection rate is the third highest among South Asian countries. We are right behind Afghanistan and Pakistan that have 54.10 percent and 23.9 percent infection rates respectively.
This raised an all important question: what did the country achieve from this "lockdown" or "shutdown" or "general holiday" that stalled the country's economy and thus threw millions of people out of work for the last two months.
Certainly Bangladesh is walking a different path from the other countries hit by the coronavirus pandemic in terms of reopening the economy from lockdowns.
All other countries, such as China, Italy, Spain, France and the USA have either relaxed or lifted their lockdowns after their infection curves had flattened.
But everything looks different in Bangladesh.
There still is no sign of the curve being flattened but the government has already decided to allow public transports to start their operation and ordered all offices, both government and private, to reopen on Sunday.
The sad fact is, the shutdown was not enforced effectively from the very beginning. Our health experts repeatedly pointed out the ineffectiveness of the futile shutdown and its failure to halt the spread of the virus thus having no effect on the efforts to flatten the curve.
In the European countries such as Italy, France and Spain, incidences of new cases dropped within two to three weeks after they enforced the lockdown.
But here we see the track of the curve still going strong with slight fluctuations because of a half-hearted shutdown in the name of a "general holiday".
Remarkably, the way the virus remains active in Bangladesh is also unusual compared to the records of the worst-hit European countries such as Italy, Spain and France.
The European countries were able to slow down the virus in two months since their first cases were detected with the exception of only the UK where it took 70 days to slow down the virus' devastating progress.
Even the African countries were better able to handle the pandemic because of their previous experience with several viral outbreaks and consequently having a well developed protocol in place.
Referring to Africa's response to the pandemic, the BBC reported on Wednesday that: "Many countries acted swiftly where, to varying degrees, lockdowns, partial lockdowns, bans on large gatherings, curfews and border closures were introduced.
South Africa, Cameroon, Mauritania and parts of Nigeria launched massive community door-to-door campaigns to screen people and identify potential cases for testing.
Some island nations and countries with smaller populations on the continental mainland have kept the numbers low."
But the daily briefings from the DGHS show that new cases are going up even after 82 days since the first Covid-19 case was reported on March 8.
The difference may be that massive testing efforts helped most other countries to detect cases and isolate patients effectively resulting in early flattening of the curve.
Now when they are reopening their economies through relaxing the lockdown restrictions they have further ramped up their testing capacity which holds the key to reopening.
But our health agency is still scrambling to increase the testing capacity to identify patients and isolate them.
Some numbers will be enough to explain the situation.
On March 26, the day the two-month general holidays began, the IEDCR announced that it conducted 126 tests in the previous 24 hours and reported five cases and zero deaths.
A month later, when the government allowed RMG factories to reopen, the health agency said it ran 3,473 tests, reported 418 cases and five deaths.
When the government on Thursday announced that it would not extend further the general holidays, the Health Directorate reported 2,029 new cases through testing 9,310 samples.
It was able to conduct 10,000 tests in only three days this month. In the last three months, it conducted only 2.75 lakh tests and identified over 40,000 cases. The health agency reported 559 deaths of coronavirus in that time.
Due to the low testing capacity, people are waiting indefinitely to be tested when early tests and detection are the keys to successful stemming of the spread of the disease. Many of those who tested positive, are not getting properly treated, and the weak health care system has already been overwhelmed.
This, then, is where we stand now.
The country is coming out of the "general holiday" allowing everybody to go about freely though they are being advised to abide by health safety measures that were largely ignored earlier.