- 845 new cases in last 24 hours which is highest in last 54 days
- Number of cases in country now stands at 551,175
- Due to corona, Bangladesh's economy has lost $12b to $20b
- Govt working to get WHO's approval for laboratory to produce vaccine in country
Forcing people to adhere to hygiene rules for a longer time and making people interested in taking vaccines are the big challenges now, experts said at a seminar on Monday.
One year after the onset of the corona pandemic in the country, the infection rate has started going up again, they noted, adding infection is rising for reluctance to wear masks, non-observance of hygiene rules, and increasing crowds at tourist centres.
Bangladesh Health Reporters Forum at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University organised the seminar titled 'Bangladesh in One Year of Corona: Success and Challenges'.
They said research is needed to understand the country's infection situation, to help health workers, and to produce a coronavirus vaccine in the country.
Bangladesh has recorded 845 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours till Monday 8am, the highest daily cases in the last 54 days. The number of novel coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 551,175.
Bangladesh confirmed 14 more deaths from the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The country's death toll from the virus now stands at 8,476.
The latest day's infection rate was 4.98%, highest in the last 51 days.
Professor Nasima Sultana, additional director general (administration) of the Directorate General of Health Services, delivered the keynote at the seminar.
She said, "The infection situation has been brought under control through various steps in one year. However, as the Covid-19 pandemic is continuing indefinitely, it is difficult for people to follow hygiene rules for a longer time. There were rumours about vaccination at the beginning, but it has been dispelled. Now, the rate of vaccination has come down alarmingly which is a challenge for us."
Speaking as the chief guest at the seminar, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the coronavirus has not yet left the country and all the people have not been vaccinated yet. But still many people are not wearing masks. Lakhs of people are going to Cox's Bazar. Crowds are increasing in various tourist centres of the country including Sylhet. Social events are also increasing. It is not enough to make Bangladesh free of corona, but the whole world has to get rid of the virus. We have to carry on our efforts to contain the virus.
The minister hoped that the country would produce corona vaccines in the future.
"Some pharmaceutical companies in our country have the capability to produce corona vaccines. The companies are already producing vaccines for various diseases. The World Health Organisation-approved lab is needed to produce the vaccine. We are working to get that lab approved by the WHO," he added.
Observing that investment in the health sector has to be increased more, Zahid Malik said, "The coronavirus has taught us what happens if we neglect the health sector. Corona has destroyed the economies of many countries in the world. So, we have to give importance to this issue in future. Due to the corona, the economy of Bangladesh has lost $12b to $20b.
Professor Nazrul Islam, noted virologist and member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said that despite the continuing spread of corona in other countries, it is coming under control in our country. Coronavirus infection may increase slightly in summer, a shallow wave may come.
"Research is needed to find out the nature of the movement of coronavirus. Money is needed for research," he said.
He urged the health minister to allocate this money.
BSMMU Vice Chancellor Kanak Kanti Barua said research is needed to verify the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Bangladesh Medical Association Secretary General Dr Ehteshamul Huq called for the implementation of the Prime Minister's directive with the incentives of health workers.