Highest 887 cases, 14 deaths in 24 hours
The spike in infections came after the government allowed reopening of businesses, with experts fearing the situation could turn worse
The rate of confirmed Covid-19 cases has jumped to 15.45 percent as the country recorded the single-day highest of 887 new cases after testing 5,738 samples in a day.
On Saturday, the rate of confirmed cases was 11.63 percent.
Bangladesh also recorded the second highest deaths, 14, in the 24-hour period from Saturday 12pm to Sunday 12pm. With this, the coronavirus death toll rose to 228 and the number of total infections stood at 14,657.
Additional Director General of the health directorate Professor Dr Nasima Sultana revealed the information at the daily Covid-19 online briefing on Sunday.
The spike in infections came after the government allowed reopening of businesses. Health experts said they were concerned that the situation could turn worse.
Professor Nazrul Islam, noted virologist and former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told The Business Standard cases increased as the authorities had failed to implement a proper lockdown.
"After five to seven days, we will see an impact of the reopening of garment factories. Then we will be able to predict the pattern of infections," he said.
Prof Muzaherul Huq, former adviser of World Health Organisation's (WHO) Southeast Asia region, said the country is going to face a dangerous situation for reopening apparel factories and markets for the sake of economy.
"Infections went down in all countries in the world after reaching the peak. But here, we cannot predict when the pandemic will reach its peak because we could not bring all the people under the umbrella of testing yet," he said.
Citing the WHO guidelines, he said that reopening the markets was a deadly decision for the country because lockdown should not be eased until the transmission was controlled.
During the daily briefing, Dr Nasima said that the new confirmed cases were recorded from testing samples in 36 labs across the country.
Among the dead patients, 10 were males and four females, she said.
"Of the 14, five were aged between 61 and 70, three were between 51 and 60, five were between 41 and 50, and one was between 91 and 100.
"Some 236 patients recovered during the 24-hour period, taking the total number to 2,650," said Dr Nasima.
Recovery rate is 18.10 percent while the death rate is 1.5 percent, she added .
Apart from the health directorate's home service for sample collection, Oval Group has set up five booths in different areas of Dhaka to collect samples.
Brac has installed ten booths so far to speed up sample collection – four at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, and one each at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College, National Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Referral Centre, Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery, and Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Memorial KPJ Specialized Hospital and Nursing College, and two others in Narayanganj.
Dr Nasima said, "The authorities placed 169 new suspected patients in isolation, bringing the total to 2,015 after 1,114 left."
"The country is capable of accommodating 8,634 people in 601 isolation wards and 30,955 people in 615 institutional quarantine facilities," she added.
Moreover, there are 330 intensive care unit facilities and 102 dialysis beds available for the treatment of coronavirus-infected patients in the country.