The coronavirus infection rate in the country has been below 5% for four weeks.
As per World Health Organisation protocol, the situation is considered under control if the infection rate is below 5% for three consecutive weeks.
Experts say the coronavirus can be controlled in Bangladesh before other countries of the world if more people are vaccinated and hygiene is followed.
The coronavirus infection situation has improved all over the world too.
Dr M Mushtaq Hussain, adviser to the Institute of Epidemiology and Disease Control, told The Business Standard, "In our country, community transmission of coronavirus has stopped; what is happening now is cluster transmission.
"The situation has improved. When the infection rate remains below 1% for two weeks in a row, there will be only a few transmissions. However, since there are still infections all over the world, it will take time for the infection rate to come down to zero."
Dr Mushtaq said vaccination should be emphasised now to prevent further infection. "We have the capacity to vaccinate more than three lakh people every day. Vaccines are not being given according to the capacity yet.
"If we can vaccinate 10 million people every month, the infection situation will improve. Booths should be set up at vaccination centres so that marginalised people can get vaccinated," he added.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services, the coronavirus infection rate in the country on 18 January was 5.49%. Since then, the daily infection rate has been declining. On Thursday, the infection rate dropped to 2.68%.
Professor Nazrul Islam, a noted virologist and former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told the Business Standard, "Coronavirus has now become endemic in our country as per WHO protocol. Endemic means that infection is common, not much. There will be the disease but not so dangerous, and the risk of death will be reduced. Endemic means we can start regular activities by following the rules of hygiene.
Prof Nazrul said the infection rate was now comfortable. But health guidelines must be obeyed. And the emphasis should be on vaccinating as many people as possible; so that hard immunity is created. "And we need to be more careful to prevent entry of new strains of coronavirus," he stated.
Bangladesh vaccinated 2,61,945 people on Thursday – the 12th day of the nationwide Covid-19 immunisation drive. With this, the country has vaccinated 18,48,313 people since the campaign started on 7 February.
Bangladesh recorded 15 more deaths from the novel coronavirus and 391 new cases in the 24 hours till 8am on Thursday.
The country's death toll from the virus now stands at 8,329, notes a press release issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Additionally, the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 5,42,248.
According to available data, the spread of the virus was at an alarming level for three months – from mid-May to mid-August – when the daily infection rate hovered around 20% on the majority of days. On 3 August, the infection rate was around 32%. And since then, the rate has been dropping gradually, though it did fluctuate sometimes.
WHO reports global decline in Covid cases
The World Health Organization has reported that the number of reported cases of Covid-19 globally has declined for a fifth consecutive week.
Speaking during a Covid-19 media briefing on 16 February, Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said last week saw the lowest number of cases reported since October.
He said so far this year, the number of weekly reported cases has fallen by almost half, from more than 5 million cases in the week of 4 January to 2.6 million cases in the week starting February 8 – just five weeks.
"This shows that simple public health measures work, even in the presence of variants. What matters now is how we respond to this trend. The fire is not out, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting it on any front, it will come roaring back," Ghebreyesus said.
He added that every day with fewer infections means lives saved, suffering prevented and the burden on health systems eased just a little.
130 countries have not received a single dose of vaccine: UN chief
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sharply criticised the "wildly uneven and unfair" distribution of Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday, noting that 10 countries had administered 75% of all vaccinations and demanding a global effort to get all people in every nation vaccinated as soon as possible.
The UN chief told a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council that 130 countries had not received a single dose of vaccine and declared that "at this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community."
Guterres called for an urgent Global Vaccination Plan to bring together those with the power to ensure equitable vaccine distribution — scientists, vaccine producers and those who can fund the effort.