Bangladesh has so far reported 1.41 lakh novel coronavirus cases and 1,700 deaths. Of them, about 95,000 people tested positive for the virus in June alone, with 1,133 dying from the disease. Experts fear the number of infections will increase further in the times ahead.
According to the experts, coronavirus infections increase when gatherings and movements of people go up. Infections have increased significantly due to the withdrawal of the general holidays, relaxed lockdowns and failure to isolate infected people after carrying out tests on them.
The number of patients will rise further if more and more tests are not done to isolate those infected and quarantine people who come in contact with them, they added.
The first coronavirus cases were identified in the country on March 8, with the first patient dying on March 18.
On June 18, the number of confirmed cases exceeded 1 lakh, while the death toll exceeded 1,500 on June 22.
As revealed by data from the health directorate, there were 51 Covid-19 patients in March, 7,616 in April, 39,486 in May and 94,648 in June. Only one coronavirus patients died in March, and in June the number of deaths went up to 1,133.
Test rates have also increased. Average daily tests were 57 in March, with the number rising to 15,245 in June. Detection rates against tests were 5.13 percent in March, 10.05 percent in April, 15.57 percent in May and 21.39 percent in June.
The government declared a general holiday from March 26. Offices, courts, markets, garments establishments and businesses were all ordered shut. A month later, on April 26, garment factories and iftar shops were reopened, followed by markets following suit for Eid.
Large numbers of people travelled to their village homes. The government withdrew the general holiday from May 30, the consequence being that the number of infections jumped from the second week of June.
From the second week of June, after the end of the holiday, the number of Covid-19 cases averaged more than 3,000 per day. Compared to the tests, the rate of infections too continued to increase. On June 9, 3,000 patients were identified for the first time in the country. After that, more than 3,000 patients have been identified every day till June 29 except for one day.
Professor Nazrul Islam, a virologist and member of the government's technical committee on coronavirus, told The Business Standard that infections have been fluctuating between 20 and 23 percent since May 25. However, 14 days after Eid-ul-Azha, it will increase further. Centring on the Eid celebrations, people's movement to cattle markets and shopping malls will increase, with many people expected to go to their village homes. At that point, infections will go up even more.
For that period, Prof Islam suggested increasing the number of hospital beds, increasing oxygen supply and preparing ICUs to deal with the infections. Otherwise, he feared, deaths will increase further. Infections increased due to movements before Eid-ul-Fitr and the curve still remains in the same level. This time it will go up, said Professor Nazrul Islam.
Earlier on June 26, the director general of the health directorate told reporters that the infection situation would stabilise in a few days as per the forecast of experts on the coronavirus. However, if strict measures are not taken during Eid-ul-Azha, infections may register an increase.
Bangladesh reports the highest single-day 4,014 cases
Bangladesh on Monday confirmed 4,014 new coronavirus cases and 45 more deaths in the preceding 24 hours.
With this, the death toll from the virus rose to 1,783 and the number of total infections stood at 141,801.
"Of the dead patients, 36 were men and nine women. Of them, 22 were from Dhaka division, 10 from Chattogram, five from Khulna, three each from Barishal and Sylhet, and one each from Rajshahi and Mymensingh divisions," Additional Director General of Health Directorate Professor Dr Nasima Sultana made the disclosure at a virtual briefing on Monday.
Thirty patients died in different hospitals, 14 at their homes and one was diagnosed with the infection after death.
"Some 14,413 samples were collected in the last 24 hours and 17,837 were tested in 65 labs across the country. So far, 748,034 samples have been tested," she added.
Besides, 2,053 patients have recovered during this time, increasing the tally to 57,780.
"Around 40.75 percent of novel coronavirus patients – both symptomatic and asymptomatic – have recovered in Bangladesh so far, while 1.26 percent have died. The infection rate was 22.50 percent today," Dr Nasima Sultana added.