With the daily Covid-19 cases 41-day high on Tuesday, the infection has started slowly spreading across the country from the India-bordering districts, said public health experts.
They said unlike the first and second waves of the pandemic with Dhaka and Chattogram as the hotspots, the virus spread this time may overwhelm the ill-equipped district hospitals which would be much harder to deal with.
Along with district-level preparations, experts also underscored the need for curbing the infection rates immediately in the north-western and south-western regions as the health directorate Tuesday reported 2,322 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours until Tuesday morning.
Besides, deaths and the positivity rate also saw an upswing as the country registered 44 more deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.
Prof Nazrul Islam, a noted virologist and also a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said only lockdown in districts would not yield much without ramping up the Covid-19 testing and quarantining the infected.
He also advocated for completely isolating the locked down districts from the rest of the country to cut off the infection chain. "No vehicle except ambulances and other emergency services will be allowed exiting or entering the districts," he added.
With Tuesday's figures, the health directorate said the total death toll from the virus reached 12,913 as the total caseload stood at 815,282. The positivity rate was recorded at 12.12% – crossing the 12% mark for the first time since 27 April.
According to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), districts with an infection rate of 10% and above are considered as "high risk" zones, while those with 5-9% rate are labelled as "medium risk" zones. According to the IEDCR, a region with the infection below 5% is a "low risk" zone.
With more than 37% positivity, Khulna division topped the infection rate Tuesday though Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi had been the top infected areas for the last couple of days.
With an increasing positivity rate that was more than 25% Tuesday, Rangpur division also shows signs of massive outbreak of the virus recently. The virus infections are also on the rise in north-western Natore, Joypurhat and Bogura.
Natore, Singra enter weeklong lockdown Wednesday
Natore and Singra municipality areas have been placed under a weeklong lockdown starting Wednesday to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Natore Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shahriaz announced the decision after a virtual meeting on Monday night. State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak attended the meeting.
The lockdown will continue till 15 June, said officials.
During the weeklong lockdown, all public transports will stay off the roads. However, vehicles providing emergency services will be out of the purview of the movement curbs.
Except grocery stores and pharmacies, markets and restaurants will remain closed.
According to the health authorities, the infection rate in the district is 62% and the number of Covid-19 cases is on the rise in the municipality areas.
On Monday, the local administration launched a mobile antigen test drive to detect the community-based infection.
The health authorities have also set up Covid test booths, said Natore Civil Surgeon Kazi Mizanur Rahman.