• Friday, Oct 07, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Covid-19 spike continues as Bangladesh records highest deaths in 2 months

  • Published at 10:37 am March 15th, 2021
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Death toll stands at 8,571; number of total cases – 559,168

With the government scaling up its efforts to tackle a possible Covid-19 upsurge in summer, Bangladesh recorded its highest number of daily deaths in over two months.

Since the beginning of March, the test positivity rate has increased by 6.6%, a clear sign that the Covid-19 situation in the country continues to worsen.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the country registered 26 new deaths in the 24 hours to Monday morning, a leap from 18 deaths on Saturday, and 12 on Friday.

Data from DGHS showed that the last time the country saw more deaths (31) than Monday was on January 7.

The country has witnessed a significant jump in Covid-19 cases (over 600 cases) with 1,773 new cases recorded over the span of 24 hours. On Sunday, the daily caseload stood at 1,159, and at 1,014 the day prior to that.

The last time the daily Covid-19 case log crossed the 1700-mark was on December 15, 2020 (1,877).

The rising trend was revealed through the latest figures published by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), via press release, on Monday.


Also Read - Study: UK Covid-19 variant has significantly higher death rate


With the latest figures, the total number of confirmed cases jumped to 559,168 and the death toll rose to 8,571.

The month of March has been witnessing an upward trend of rising cases day by day. On March 1, 585 new (above 500) Covid-19 cases were recorded, after almost a month of a lower rate of infections.

The infection or test positivity rate in the last 24 hours also increased to 9.5% and the overall rate to date stood at 13.05%. The mortality rate, however, remains a static 1.53%.

Government concerned

Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the health authorities were worried as people were reluctant to follow health safety guidelines.

He was speaking in a press briefing at his ministry on Monday afternoon.

“People are going on vacation trips and attending programs without wearing masks, as if Covid-19 is no more in the country. This could be the reason behind the spike," he said. 

The health minister said the authorities had already recommended conducting mobile courts to ensure people wore masks. Besides, directives had been given for beds to be made ready at Covid-19 dedicated hospitals. 

Prof Dr Nazrul Islam, an eminent virologist and member, National Technical Advisory Committee, told Dhaka Tribune that data from the DGHS were a strong indication that the country had entered a new wave of Covid-19.

“News of young, healthy people getting infected in significant numbers and needing intensive care units (ICUs) is not good for us. In every such case, genome sequencing of the virus should be done to determine if the virus is evolving in the country or any of the new variants has entered the country,” he added. 


Also Read - Muslims can get Covid vaccine during Ramadan fast


ASM Alamgir, Principal Scientific Officer (PSO), Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Dhaka Tribune that there was no alternative to using face masks, maintaining social distancing and avoiding social gatherings as much as possible.

Deaths

Of the 26 persons who have died over the last 24 hours, 21 were men and 5 were women. Two were above the age of 40, five above 50 and 19 above the age of 60. Twenty-three were from Dhaka Division, and one each from Chittagong, Rajshahi, and Barisal divisions.

Of the total deceased since March 18 last year, 6,484 have been men and 2,087 women.

Meanwhile, 18,695 samples, including the pending ones, were tested in 219 labs across the country in the past 24 hours. Till now, 4,283,246 tests were conducted in Bangladesh.

Another 1,432 patients recovered from Covid-19 at the same time, raising the total to 513,127 with a 91.77% recovery rate.

The country's first three cases were reported on March 8 last year and the first death from the novel coronavirus on March 18.

Meanwhile, more than 5.77 million people registered around the country to get the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine till Monday afternoon. Among them 4,485,954 citizens have been vaccinated nationwide since February 7.

The fast-spreading coronavirus has claimed more than 2,666,564 lives and infected as many as 120,486,601 people across the world till Monday afternoon, according to worldometer.

As many as 97,031,124 people have recovered from Covid-19, which has affected 219 countries and territories across the planet.

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