Even the most optimistic people who had a hope in the bottom of their heart that the coronavirus situation in Bangladesh will stabilise soon may come across a shock as experts predict infections may rise further after forthcoming Eid-ul-Adha.
Professor Nazrul Islam, a virologist and a member of the government's technical committee on coronavirus, told The Business Standard that the infection rate has been fluctuating between 20 and 23 percent since the last month but it may go up 14 days after Eid-ul-Adha.
Centring the Muslim festival of sacrifice, there will be cattle markets along with increased public gatherings while many people will move to their villages, escalating the infections, he said.
Professor Nazrul suggested an increase in the number of hospital beds and oxygen supply and preparing ICU beds to deal with the intensified infections. Otherwise, deaths will surge.
The warning came at a time when Bangladesh saw another 43 people die of Covid-19 in 24 hours until 8am on Sunday, taking the toll to 1,738.
The curve of infection that went up due to huge public movements before Eid-ul-Fitr is still the same and it will go even higher this time, added Professor Nazrul.
The first Covid-19 case in the country was identified on March 8 while the first death was reported on March 18. After around only three months, the number of cases went past 1 lakh and the death toll exceeded 1,500.
Prof Muzaherul Huq, former adviser to the World Health Organisation's Southeast Asia region, said infections are on the rise due to a lack of preparation and coordination.
"We had the testing capacity but we did not utilise that. Infections are now increasing naturally, tests are being reduced, and the people who have come in contact with the infected are not being quarantined."
Infections will rise after the Eid because there will be a lot of movements during the festival, he added.
Earlier at a function on June 26, the director general of the Directorate General of Health Services told reporters that the infection situation would stabilise in a few days as per the forecast of experts.
However, it may increase if strict measures are not taken during Eid-ul-Adha, he said, adding that guidelines are being prepared on how to run the sacrificial animal market in compliance with hygiene rules.
Deaths from Covid-19 go past 1,700
In the last 24 hours, 3,809 new cases were identified, taking the total cases to 137,787 so far, said Professor Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the DGHS, at an online briefing on Sunday.
Professor Nasima said 1,409 people recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours. So far, 55,727 people have recovered, which is over 40 percent of the infections.
The rate of single-day infection was slightly over 21 percent while the death rate was 1.26 percent, she also said.
At present, Covid-19 is being tested in 68 labs.
Among the deaths in the last 24 hours, 31 were men and 12 were women. Twenty-one of them were from Dhaka division, 10 from Chattogram, three from Khulna and Sylhet each, two from Rajshahi and Barishal each and one from Mymensingh and Rangpur divisions each.
Professor Nasima Sultana said no one should be inhumane towards those who are dying of Covid-19.
"We should show respect to every dead body and ensure proper cremation or burial for the deceased,"she said.