Bangladesh reported 74 deaths from Covid-19 on Thursday, the highest in a single day in the country so far. The number of infections at the district level as well as in Dhaka is also increasing rapidly.
Experts said hospitals in Dhaka are already struggling to provide treatment, and the situation could worsen if Covid-19 infections increase in the districts.
The country has recorded 6,854 new Covid-19 patients in the 24 hours till Thursday 8am. The total number of cases now stands at 666,132, and the death toll stands at 9,521, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The latest day's infection rate was 20.65% of the total tests. The death rate stands at 1.43%.
During the past 24 hours, 33,193 samples were tested in 243 labs across the country.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) said the number of districts at high-risk of Covid-19 infection is growing rapidly across the country.
According to the IEDCR, 38 districts were at risk of Covid-19 infection on 5 April. Of these, 10 districts were at high risk of Covid-19 infection. But a day later, on 7 April, the number of districts at Covid-19 risk rose to 46, of which 31 were identified as high risk, 13 as medium risk, and two as low risk districts.
The districts with a Covid-19 detection rate of more than 10% are considered high-risk districts. Moulvibazar (48.94%), Munshiganj (44.38%), Feni (42.79%), Naogaon (34.56%) and Khulna (34.03%) have the highest Covid-19 infection rates, said the IEDCR.
Professor Dr M Mushtaq Hussain, adviser to the IEDCR told The Business Standard, "Infections are on the rise in the districts due to the favourable environment for the spread of the virus there. The infection is spreading across the country due to the communication with Dhaka, not observing the hygiene rules, and not isolating the patients."
He said inter-district communication with Dhaka should be suspended for at least 21 days to protect the districts from coronavirus infection.
"People should stay indoors, wear masks when they go outside and follow hygiene rules. The affected people in the district have to be isolated and quarantined. Only then will it be possible to prevent infection. Otherwise, the infection will increase and the patients in the districts will also increase the pressure on the Dhaka hospitals," Dr Hussain added.
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr'b) said the number of Covid-19 patients is increasing rapidly due to the South African variant of the virus identified in the country.
"The South African variant occupied 81% of the variants in the fourth week of March in Bangladesh," the icddr,b said.
Second dose Covid-19 vaccination started
Meanwhile, the government has started providing the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country on Thursday amid an uptick in infections. The country is also continuing to administer the first dose of the vaccine to the registered people.
On the first day of the second dose vaccination 81,323 people were vaccinated.
Since the start of mass vaccination on 7 February, around 55.83 lakh people have taken the first dose of vaccine.
Sending SMS for the second dose vaccine has started from Monday. The second dose should be taken from the previous vaccination centre as per the date given in the SMS.