With Covid-19 deaths reaching a record high every day, health experts think it will take another week for the death toll to decrease.
But even if the lockdown is no longer in effect after next week, the second wave of the pandemic may linger if hygiene rules are relaxed till Eid-ul-Adha, they warn.
Bangladesh set another grim record as 112 more Covid-19 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours ending at 8am Monday.
The daily death toll crossed the 100-mark for the first time on Friday, and the upward trend continued since then. On Friday and Saturday, 101 people each lost the battle against the deadly virus while 102 died on Sunday.
With Monday's figures, the death toll reached 10,497 with a fatality rate of 1.45%, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Experts say the ongoing lockdown could improve the situation by the last week of May but infections would not decrease in the same pace as it soared.
Dr Mohammad Mushtuq Husain, an adviser to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told The Business Standard infections had reached the peak in the country.
He said if the infection rate was below 20% for more than a week regardless of the number of new cases, the country would pass the peak.
The health expert explained that the restriction imposed by the government on 5 April would begin to have an impact on the case detection rate but the situation needed to be monitored for another week to see whether the lockdown would affect the death toll.
Mushtuq said the all-out lockdown might be in effect for another week but there was no way to get back to the pre-5 April situation.
Otherwise, infections would peak again during the two upcoming Eid festivals, he added.
Shafiun Shimul, an associate professor at the University of Dhaka and a team member of CoMo (Covid-19 Modelling) Consortium at the University of Oxford, said those who were dying now had been infected three weeks ago.
He said death figures might fall after next week.
"Our modelling says infections will decrease in mid-May or early June due to the lockdown. But without strict restrictions in effect, infections may increase further."
Bangladesh recorded 4,271 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 723,221.
Between 4 and 7 April, the number of daily new cases was above 7,000, and it dropped below the 5,000-mark on 15 April with 4,192 new infections.
The country tested 24,152 samples on Monday while the number was 19,404 on Sunday, with 3,698 new infections on that day. The number of daily samples was below the 20,000-mark for the last four days.
The daily infection rate was 17.68% in the last 24 hours.
Dr Abu Jamil Faisal, a public health expert and a member of the Public Health Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told The Business Standard the effects of the mass gathering that had taken place three weeks ago could be seen now.
Although the number of new patients decreased in the last few days, the infection rate did not decrease much, he said.
"This means there are people who were infected but were not identified."
He said there should be more tests and patients should be isolated and quarantined to control infections.
To control infections and reduce deaths, communities need to be involved, he added.
India on Monday recorded 273,810 fresh infections and 1,619 deaths in a new record high, taking the caseload to 1.5 crore. 1.78 lakh people have died so far there.
Monday was the fifth straight day when over two lakh cases were reported, NDTV reports.
Dr Rakesh Mishra, director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in India, said the next three weeks are crucial and that it is very important for people to follow guidelines "very strictly" as India is witnessing spiralling cases amid an acute shortage of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, and drugs.
He said if the dearth of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, and vaccines continues, India will be in a disastrous state.
"We have seen this kind of situation in Italy where many people have lost their lives in the corridors of hospitals due to a lack of treatment, medicine, and oxygen cylinders. Last year, healthcare workers were very effective in handling the situation," he told ANI.
The double mutant variant found in India made the infection situation very critical there and Dr Faisal thinks the variant is also a cause for concern for Bangladesh.
He said Bangladesh has connectivity with India through 36 land ports and there is a risk that the variant will be detected here.
Everyone has to be careful so that the variant cannot enter Bangladesh, he added.