Bangladesh confirmed 41 more deaths from the novel coronavirus testing 14,678 samples in the last 24 hours till 8am on Wednesday.
In the last 24 hours, 2,747 people tested positive for Covid-19 and the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 2,85,091.
The infection rate went down to 18.72 percent, which is lowest in the last 80 days.
The last time infection rate went down this far was on May 30. Infection rate was 17.66 percent that day.
When contacted, Professor Nazrul Islam, former vice-chancellor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and noted virologist, told The Business Standard, "The lowest infection rate in a single day does not mean that the trend of infections has come under control. To get a true picture, we need at least seven days' data."
"One of the reasons for today's lowest infection rate is that the samples might have been collected from the areas where the prevalence of the virus is low. If the samples are collected from different areas proportionately, we will get the actual scenario. Since health guidelines are largely being neglected, there is now a possibility of rising infections in the coming days," he added.
In the meantime, the government has reduced the fees to increase the number of sample tests.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque made the announcement at a media briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat on Wednesday.
The fees have been reset at Tk100 for sample collection from government designated centres and Tk300 for collecting samples from home. Earlier, the fees were Tk200 and 500 respectively.
On June 29, the health ministry issued a circular determining fees for Covid-19 tests at the state-owned facilities. Thereafter, the number of tests came down gradually.
Zahid Maleque expects that the number of Covid-19 sample tests will go up once the decision to decrease the fees comes into effect.
He said the reduced fees will be implemented in the next two days. The new fees have been set keeping the common people of the country in mind.
In the last 24 hours till 8am on Wednesday, Bangladesh confirmed 41 more deaths from the novel coronavirus.
The country's death toll from the virus now stands at 3,781, said a press release issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The latest day's infection rate was 18.72 percent of the total tests, though the overall rate in the country till date was 20.46 percent.
And the death rate stands at 1.33 percent.
A total of 2,913 patients were declared free of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and the total number of recoveries reached 165,738. The recovery rate was 58.14 percent.
Of the deceased, 34 were men and seven were women. Twenty-one of them hailed from Dhaka division, seven from Khulna, one from Mymensingh and three each from Chattogram, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Barishal.
Of the deceased, one was between 31 and 40 years old, five between 41 and 50, 11 between 51-60 and 24 were above 60.
Thirty-eight of them died in different hospitals and three at their respective homes.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said that they are analysing the quality, availability and effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine by keeping in constant touch with all countries producing them, including China, Russia, the USA and the United Kingdom.
He said 70 percent of the beds at Covid-dedicated hospitals are currently empty. As a result, a large number of doctors and nurses are sitting idle.
Therefore, the government is working to turn the hospitals where the number of Covid-19 patients is very low into non-Covid treatment facilities. Non-Covid patients would benefit more from this decision, the minister added.