Health Minister Zahid Maleque warned that infections may increase further as Bangladesh reported the biggest single-day jump in Covid-19 cases on Tuesday.
In a 24-hour count to Tuesday morning, 786 new cases were found. It is 14.24 percent higher than the previous day's record.
"The infections could increase because readymade garment factories have reopened and people are flocking to stores," the minister said at a press briefing after a meeting of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Coronavirus at the health ministry.
Replying to a question, he said, "It is true that people are dying of Covid-19. I am sorry for the deaths, but the death rate is lower here compared to that in other countries."
The minister expressed concern over the jump in Covid-19 cases.
"I have seen 400-500 daily cases over the last eight to ten days. But now it has surpassed 700. Since markets have opened (it has been decided to open them), garment factories have opened, and thus the movement of consumers to shops is increasing. So, we can assume that infections will increase," he said.
"We need to control it as much as possible. Both life and livelihood will go hand in hand. The health ministry will try to limit the number of patients."
The health minister said shops may also open. The well-thought-out advice given by the technical committee in this regard will be conveyed to the appropriate authority. Then whatever needed will be done according to the instructions of the government.
New infections make record
The highest single-day jump was confirmed from testing 5,711 samples in the last 24 hours, which is 7.99 percent less than Monday's tests of 6,207 samples.
Prof Dr Md Nazrul Islam, virologist and former vice-chancellor of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), said the infection rate has gone up with an increase in people's movement due to the reopening of garment factories.
"A clear projection of the jump in infections for opening garments factories could be made after May 12. It could be 1,000 in a day," he said while speaking to The Business Standard.
He feared that the infection will increase further during the upcoming Eid when people will go back to their homes.
"So, the situation could take a turn for the worse as vaccines will not be available within one and a half years. And it is not like that Bangladesh will be able to get the vaccine once it is in the global market," added Dr Nazrul.
"In this circumstance, there is no alternative to herd immunity, which means some people will die and others will remain immune."
Meanwhile, a record number of 193 Covid-19 patients have recovered during the 24 hours, which is 31 percent higher than the previous day.
Meanwhile, one more person died from the novel coronavirus during this time.
With this, the death toll from the deadly virus has risen to 183 and the number of total infections stands at 10,929, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) made the disclosure at a health bulletin.
"Some 6,182 samples were collected and 5,711 were tested in 33 labs across the country in the last 24 hours," Professor Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general of DGHS, said while speaking at the routine bulletin.
Infections in police exceed 1,100
As of Tuesday, 1,153 policemen have tested positive for the deadly virus.
Of them, 576 cases have been reported in the Dhaka Metropolitan (DMP) area, according to a tally of the Police Headquarters.
Meanwhile, 85 policemen have recovered from the virus, and 1,063 others remained in isolation centres.
So far five policemen have died from coronavirus.
National Technical Advisory Committee meeting
At the meeting, the technical committee suggestet treating all types of patients at hospitals. It asked to make sure that no patient was returned from any hospital.
In this regard, the health minister said Covid-19 patients as well as other patients need proper treatment.
Apart from this, the committee suggested improving the testing system for the detection of coronavirus patients.
The committee members gave important suggestions – including increasing the testing facilities in different government and private hospitals, cautioning doctors to use protective gear and keeping separate medical services for mothers and children in the country.
On April 18, the government formed the national technical committee with 17 specialists to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus.