It may sound like an oxymoron that our fatality rate from the coronavirus is much lower than the global one despite having a very inadequate healthcare system.
But there must be an answer and age may be one.
The large chunk of young people may have been the saving grace for Bangladesh as figures show. Europe is today blighted because of its greater number of aged people.
But the real reasons may be many. For example, better immunity of our population or even a weakening virus in this region.
Looking closer to home, we see that India or Thailand, two other countries with predominantly younger populations, seem to have also been spared from the high death rates of the European countries and the US.
Experts are still not sure of an answer here as to what is keeping the death rates low in these countries. But their assumptions are also similar as mentioned above.
As of yesterday, the mortality rate from coronavirus in Bangladesh is 2.8 percent while the global rate is 7 percent.
This means fewer people are dying of the lethal virus here in comparison with the other countries, particularly the European countries.
Initially our fatality rate looked higher than the global one because of the low number of tests resulting in fewer patients.
But the number of tests were increased in the following days resulting in a more realistic fatality rate, which is lower than the initial one.
As of yesterday, the total diagnosed cases stand at 4,689 after conducting 39,776 tests. The total death toll is now 131 with a fatality rate lower than the global one.
The fatality rate is higher in European countries. Data shows that most of the deceased there were elderly or suffering from other diseases.
The average life expectancy in some European countries such as Italy, Spain and France—the three worst hit countries in Europe, is above 80 years. They have a huge number of elderly persons.
In contrast, in Bangladesh, the average life expectancy is 72 years and it has a huge chunk of median aged people which may have now become our saving grace.
The median age of a population is the point at which half the population is older than that age and half is younger.
In Bangladesh, the median age is 26.7 years. The median age is 27.9 years in India.
The number is much higher in Europe and the US. It is 41.4 years in France, 42.7 years in Spain, 45.5 years in Italy, 40.5 years in the UK and 38.1 years in the USA.
In Europe, Italy was the first to become the worst hit country outside China, where the coronavirus was first detected.
For people between 70 and 89 years of age, the fatality rate was over 78 percent. But the fatality rate was lower—only 8 percent--for people between 60 to 69 years of age, says Euronews in a report on April 22.
The experiences in France and Spain are also the same.
A report released by academics at the London School of Economics (LSE) on April 15 said between 42 percent and 57 percent of deaths from the coronavirus in Italy, Spain, France, Ireland and Belgium have been reported to have occurred in the care homes for the elderly.
In Europe, care home residents are ideal prey for the virus, as they are usually aged over 80 and have other health conditions. They live in close quarters and some residents suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's cannot remember physical distancing rules and stick to them, writes Euronews reporting on the high death rate among the elderly in those countries.
The prevailing situation in our case is different. To make sense of the death trend in Bangladesh, The Business Standard has looked into the data on death from different sources.
It has traced the age of 55 deceased.
Among them, 22 persons were in the 60 plus age range, 15 in the 51-59 years range, 11 in the 41-50 years range, six in the 30-40 years range and there was a six-year-old child.
All over the world, mortality rates are being scrutinised to determine the true impact of the coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year and is known to have infected more than 2.7 million people globally with nearly 190,000 deaths.
While death rates in some countries have risen sharply in recent weeks, in Bangladesh the opposite seems to be the trend.
Since the country's first reported death on April 1, the single day highest number of deaths Bangladesh recorded was 15 on April 17.
Since then the number of deaths has gradually declined. Yesterday, Bangladesh reported only four deaths.
Virologist Prof Nazrul Islam, also former VC of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, says the mortality rate is low in Bangladesh as majority of its people is young.
Referring to the decline in death toll in the last 24 hours, he, however, said the death rate may go up again.
"Elderly people and people with other health complications are dying. We have to improve ICU facility and hospital management," he said.
He said the highest number of people were the elderly who died in ICU in Italy raising the global mortality rate.
Dr Jahidur Rahman, assistant Professor of the Virology Department of Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital, however, said it is still not the right time to assess the mortality rate in Bangladesh.
"Few people are dying under treatment. Those who are dying with coronavirus symptoms were not included in the list of death caused by coronavirus," he said.