Naogaon, which identified its first Covid-19 case on 13 May last year, recorded a 47.86% positivity rate and three deaths from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest daily toll reported by the district so far.
It has seen 43 deaths from Covid-19 since the first case was identified there, but 11 of these patients died between 1 May and 1 June this year.
Dhaka, on the other hand, registered a positivity rate of below 5% on Tuesday, said district Civil Surgeon Abu Hussain Moinul Ahsan.
A number of districts outside Dhaka – especially those situated near the India-Bangladesh border – have been reporting an increasing number of infections and deaths since Eid-al-Fitr.
On 28 May, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) found evidence of community transmission after identifying the Indian Covid-19 variant in seven patients of Chapainawabganj who never visited India.
Then 31 May, the Genome Centre of Jashore University of Science and Technology found this particular variant in eight patients of the district, and none of them have ever visited the neighbouring country.
Bangladesh first identified the Indian variant on 8 May in two people who returned from India. So far, the IEDCR has recorded 31 cases of this variant in this country till date. Experts warn that if the bordering districts do not implement stricter measures to curb the infections, Covid-19 situation across the entire country will spin out of control.
Both new cases and fatalities of Covid-19 have taken an upward trend in Bangladesh. The country registered 41 more deaths and 1,765 new cases in the 24-hour period till 8am Tuesday.
With these figures, the death toll reached 12,660 and the caseload stood at 802,305, says the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Besides, the overall positivity rate was 9.67% and the death rate was 1.58% in the 24-hour period.
The overall positivity rate has been hovering near 9%-10% since last week and daily cases have increased from 1,400 to 1,700 during this period. Death toll has also increased from 17 to 41.
Most of the Covid-19 deaths are now occurring in divisions outside Dhaka, especially in Chattogram and Rajshahi.
On the issue, Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) Director Brig Gen Dr Shamim Yazdani said, "The number of Covid-19 patients is going up every day. The positivity rate in Rajshahi stood at 50% on Tuesday.
"If strict lockdown is not imposed here, the number of patients will increase significantly across the country and we would have to wait for a disaster to happen."
Only the RMCH provides Covid-19 treatment in the whole district. The hospital has 217 general beds and 15 ICU beds. The facility had 216 admissions in the general bed and 15 in the ICU on Tuesday.
The RMCH not only provides Covid-19 treatment to patients from the Rajshahi district, but from the Chapainawabganj, Natore and Naogaon too, as those districts have no ICUs for such cases.
Rajshahi reported 98 Covid-19 patients during the first wave and 136 during the second wave. But these numbers have been going up steadily since Eid-al-Fitr.
"Only 2-3 people used to die of Covid-19 per week in Rajshahi, so people were not very scared of the pandemic. But now people are dying from the infection every day. Twenty-three people have died of Covid-19 here in the last three days," Dr Yazdani told The Business Standard.
Satkhira had a Covid-19 positivity rate of 41.2% on Tuesday, which was only 9.67% in the country.
Dr Abu Jamil Faisal, a public health expert and member of the Public Health Advisory Committee of Covid-19, said, "The community transmission of Covid's Indian variant is a big concern. Tests must be increased in the bordering districts. Everyone who tests positive must be quarantined immediately.
"Failing to break the chain of infection will cause it to spread exponentially. We have recommended imposing a lockdown on all bordering districts, and the authorities should not delay implementing this crucial measure."
On 30 May, the Epidemiology and Public Health Committee of DGHS also recommended imposing lockdown in seven districts due to the rise in coronavirus infection. The districts are Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon, Satkhira, Khulna, Kushtia and Jashore.