The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Bangladesh rose to 152 on Monday as the country registered seven more deaths and 497 new cases.
"Among the deceased, six are men and one is a woman," Additional Director General of the Health Directorate Dr Nasima Sultana informed the media during a virtual press briefing.
"Five died in Dhaka and one, each, in Sylhet and Rajshahi. Four of them were aged above 60," she added.
She said that some 4,192 samples were collected in the last 24 hours, 3,812 of which were tested. So far, 50,401 samples have been tested in the last 51 days.
Dr Nasima further said sample collection had increased by 13.91 percent compared to the previous day, and a 9.66 percent increase was reported for PCR testing across the country.
Additionally, the government is trying to increase the number of tests conducted by adding a new laboratory, the additional director general told the media.
"In this initiative, our public universities are coming forward with their PCR lab facilities," Dr Nasima added. The Mymensingh Bangladesh Agricultural University has been helping Mymensingh Medical college by providing skilled manpower.
"Dhaka University is going to start the tests soon. The Bangladesh Rice Research Institute and the Chattogram Medical College will also start testing at their PCR labs soon."
Dr Nasima hoped that from May, the country would be able to conduct as many as 5,000 tests in a day.
Nine of the admitted patients recovered from the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of cured patients to 131.
"Dhaka division, especially Dhaka city, is still the hardest-hit region of the country," Nasima stated.
At present, the Rangamati and Khagrachari districts under the Chattogram Hill Tracts, Khulna division's Satkhira, and Rajshahi division's Natore have not reported any cases of Covid-19.
Currently, 77,679 people are under quarantine and 101,722 have been released till date, according to the latest data provided during the virtual health bulletin.
As many as 2,469,389 hotline services were provided by 15,480 trained doctors via three designated telephone numbers – including 78,178 calls in the last 24 hours till 8am on Monday.
Till date, 675,281 thermal screenings were conducted at different ports, including 138 at airports, 140 at seaports and 63 at land ports in the last 24 hours.
The number of personal protective equipment (PPE) collected by the government has been 1,567,057 so far, of which 1,291,098 were distributed and 275,959 remains in stock.
Dr Nasima Sultana said the authorities took 85 new individuals suspected of having Covid-19 into isolation – bringing the total to 1,220 in the last 24 hours till Monday.
The country is currently capable of accommodating 3,635 people for treatment in 601 isolation wards across the country. There are 9,738 isolation beds, 341 ICU facilities and 102 dialysis beds available for treating novel coronavirus patients.
The virus has already killed 206,569 people and infected 2,973,264 around the world, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.