The daily Covid death toll again jumped to cross the 100 mark on Sunday, taking the total death count caused by the pandemic to 11,053 in Bangladesh.
Robed Amin, spokesperson of the Directorate General of Health Services that released the data, at a health bulletin said if people did not become serious about following health-safety guidelines, Bangladesh might face a situation as grim as it is now in India.
The contagion is rising exponentially in the neighbouring country, claiming thousands of lives every day, he said. The variants of the virus detected there caught the whole world by surprise. Those are called double or triple mutation strains.
The strains must be prevented from coming to Bangladesh, he said. "We need cooperation from all to ensure that."
Despite limited testing, 1,31,105 new cases have been identified this month. The number will be much higher if the new variants spread in the country, Amin said.
Of those who died in the 24 hours until 8am on Sunday, 52 were men and 49 women. All of them died in hospital.
On 20 April, the number of single-day fatalities dropped below 100 after daily death figures surpassed one after another for four consecutive days. The highest number of Covid deaths was reported 112 on 19 April.
The overall death rate now stands at 1.48% in the country.
In the latest daily count, the country also saw 2,922 new cases of infection. The caseload so far reached 7,45,322.
Three hundred and fifty labs tested 21,922 samples to come up with the latest infection figure.
Meanwhile, 4,301 patients were declared free of Covid-19 in the 24 hours, with a recovery rate of 88.21%.
Speaking on quarantine of Covid suspects, Robed Amin at the bulletin said the quarantine period must be 14 days.
Institutional quarantine is better than home quarantine. Only the health directorate cannot make sure that Covid suspects spend 14 days in quarantine. Other directorates and ministries have to extend support, he said.
Amin called upon everyone to follow the 14-day quarantine period strictly because the Bengal variant detected in India is 300 times more contagious.
The ongoing lockdown will continue until 28 April. But shops and malls have been allowed to open their shutters -- on a limited scale. People must wear masks and maintain social distancing to prevent transmission of the disease.
If necessary, field-level health workers will have to work to ensure that people abide by health guidelines.
The country's maiden cases were reported on 8 March last year and the first death caused by the virus was on 18 March.
Risk of a third wave
Health Minister Zahid Malik said that if people did not become cautious and follow health guidelines, a third wave was imminent and that could be more severe.
At a programme organised to mark the World Malaria Day, he said, "We dealt with the first wave quite successfully. When the daily death figure came down to 3-4 in February, people thought the virus had been wiped out of the country. They visited tourist spots and attended social programmes, such as marriages and picnics, without following health guidelines. That caused the second wave."
The infection curve of the second wave may climb down soon due to the lockdown, but people must follow protective measures until the recovery of the last remaining infected person.