The coronavirus infection rate in Bangladesh has gone up in the last 30 days, while the death rate has decreased.
On April 15, the rate of total confirmed cases per test was 8.6 percent, which rose to 12.5 percent on Friday. On the other hand, the fatality rate was 3.9 percent on April 15, which went down to 1.5 percent on Friday.
Sixty-nine days after the first case was detected in the country, the number crossed 20,000 on Friday.
In the last 24 hours between Thursday 8am and Friday 8am, 1,202 fresh cases were reported – the highest number of infections recorded in a day. With this, the total number of cases stood at 20,065.
During the same period, 15 people died of the virus, including seven males and eight females. The death toll reached 298.
Professor Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general – now discharging duties as the director general – of the Directorate General of Health Services, disclosed the figures during the regular health bulletin on Friday.
During the 24 hours, 279 patients recovered, taking the total number to 3,882.
Professor Nasima said samples were being tested in 41 labs in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.
Also, 8,582 samples were tested in 24 hours, the highest single-day number so far. This took the total number of samples tested to 160,512 in the country.
Experts said testing 10,000 samples per day will give an idea of the present coronavirus situation.
Professor Nazrul Islam, noted virologist and former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, said infections would rise further if the health guidelines were not strictly enforced in garment factories and markets.
He said 10,000 tests would have to be done and those testing positive would have to be isolated.
A separate taskforce has to be formed to control infections in the hotspots, added Nazrul.
Patients rising outside Dhaka
Dhaka has the highest number of patients, 85 percent, so far, but cases are now rising elsewhere – especially in Chattogram.
At present, 79.54 percent of the cases are in Dhaka, 8.47 percent in Chattogram, 1.54 percent in Sylhet, 3.50 percent in Mymensingh, 2.53 percent in Rangpur, 1.93 percent in Khulna, 1.39 percent in Rajshahi and 1.10 percent in Barishal.
Experts said the government should focus on curbing infections in areas with less patients.
Professor Muzaherul Huq, former adviser of WHO's Southeast Asia region, said there are still many areas with less than 10 cases.
"In those areas, strict lockdown measures have to be enforced only in places where cases were detected. It is possible to continue economic activities in other places," he said.
He also said there should be separate lockdown strategies for different areas, based on the infection rates.