Experts fear a further increase in the number of new cases after June 9
Bangladesh has recorded its worst week, regarding the infection rate, since the detection of the first Covid-19 cases on March 8. Further, the death toll from the virus has reached 610 people.
Twenty-eight people have died from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours till 8am on Saturday. This is the highest record of single-day deaths.
Additionally, 1,764 more people tested positive for the virus, taking the total number of novel coronavirus cases to 44,608 in the country.
In the twelfth week of the pandemic, 12,530 cases were reported from the week starting May 24, and the death toll from the deadly virus rose by 158.
This amounts to an average of 1,790 people testing positive for Covid-19 per day, and, sadly, the virus has killed almost 23 people each day of the week.
At the end of this week, the number of new Covid-19 patients in Bangladesh grew by 13.1 percent and the death toll rose to 14.5 percent compared to that of last week.
The number of new patients in the country and the death toll have increased over the past weeks.
The virus infected 11,083 people in the country last week, which amounts to 1,583 people each day.
The virus killed a total of 138 people in the past week, which comes to nearly 20 deaths per day.
"In 24 hours, 9,987 samples were tested, and the daily infection rate was 17.66 percent," said Professor Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), during a virtual news bulletin on Saturday.
Meanwhile, 360 more people have recovered from the virus, taking the number of the recovered patients to 9,375.
The rate of recovery compared to the Covid-19 cases is 21.02 percent so far.
Despite an increase in Covid-19 cases over the last few days, the government has decided not to extend the general holidays – allowing offices to open and public transport to operate on a limited scale from Sunday.
Experts fear this will give rise to the number of deadly infections.
Noted virologist Professor Nazrul Islam, who is also a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on the Coronavirus Outbreak, told The Business Standard that there is a fear of an increase in the number of infections as many people went to their village homes during the Eid holidays.
"There is a fear the number of Covid-19 cases in the country will further increase from June 9 – which is 14 days after Eid day," he added.
Prof Nazrul said, "The number of infections is increasing as people are not following health guidelines. We have to survive amid the [novel] coronavirus and that is why everything is being opened in the interest of people's livelihoods."
"Now there is no alternative to complying with the health guidelines. Further, the rate of testing must increase further," he said, adding the technical committee has recommended 15,000 tests be carried out every day.
So far, 2.97 lakh samples have been tested. In the country, 50 labs are carrying out the tests for Covid-19.
Among the new coronavirus casualties, 26 died at hospitals and two others at their homes.
Professor Nazrul Islam said to curb the number of Covid-19 deaths, the authorities must prioritise hospital management. "The government has to arrange for a high flow of oxygen at the hospitals. Private hospitals have introduced [novel] coronavirus units but the health directorate has to monitor them."
Of the 28 deceased, 25 are male and three female. Of the total 610 deaths from the virus, 75 percent are male.
The rate of Covid-19 cases is higher among males – 71 percent so far.
Of the cases, around 73 percent in the 21-50 age group. However, some 70 percent of the dead are above 50 years old.
Higher number of newly infected people
The number of newly infected people every day surpasses the number of people recovering every day.
The daily recovery rate has been higher than the number of newly infected cases on only six occasions. Five of them were before the month of April, when new cases were in the single-digits per day.
The last time Bangladesh faced a higher recovery than death rate was on May 3. New guidelines pushed the daily recovery number to 886 on that day.
On May 30, a total 1,764 new cases and 360 recovered cases were reported. So, there were 1,404 more new cases than the number of recoveries. Last week a total of 9,641 more new cases were identified than recovered.
Outcome of closed cases
The first two patients to recover were reported on March 12 while the first death was reported on March 18. Very soon, the death rate increased. On March 25, both the death and the recovery rates were equal, i.e. 50 percent.
Till May, the death rate was high in comparison to the recovery rate. On April 30 the death rate of closed cases was 51.22 percent, and the recovery rate was 48.78 percent. A closed case is defined as one of a person who has either made a full recovery or died.
On May 3, after adding new guidelines, the recovery rate among the closed cases started to increase. Till May 30, the recovery rate of the closed cases was 93.89 percent.