• Tuesday, Mar 02, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:51 am

Covid-19 cases, deaths in decline, what’s next?

  • Published at 04:07 pm February 10th, 2021
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Photo: BIGSTOCK

The test positivity rate has been below 5% for the last 22 days and under 3% for the last five days 

The number of new Covid-19 cases and deaths have been declining for the last two consecutive months. 

The official data shows that Bangladesh is currently recording a low number of cases and deaths.

Experts are hoping that Covid-19 situation in this country will improve in the upcoming summer and things will normalize accordingly as the immunization process has started. 

However, some are fearing the sudden hit of a new transmission as it happened in other worst-hit countries when things were getting back to normal.  There are two new mutations of the virus that is now considered far more infectious, the UK and the South African variant. 

Countries like the UK and Italy needed to extend or re-impose lockdowns. Bangladesh too  needs to err on the side of caution to mitigate a sudden surge in infections. 

The daily infection surpassed 1000-mark only twice this year.

Although over 14,000 samples were tested, 525 infections were reported on February 2 and since then the daily infected total did not go beyond the 500-mark till now.  

The lowest infection in almost 10 months since mid-April was recorded on Sunday with 292 positive cases among 12,404 tests. 

On April 16, 2020, in the early days of Covid-19 outbreak in Bangladesh, while it had limited facility to fight this deadly virus, the country recorded the same figure out of 2,019 tests. 

These official data show that Bangladesh is currently recording a low number of infections. 

Fatality records going down

According to Worldometer, Bangladesh is holding the 137th position in terms of deaths per million population, among the 221 countries and territories. The rate stands at 50 deaths per million population.

The daily death count started going down below 30 since December 22 as 17 people died on that day. Only three times in these seven weeks till now the death toll reached 30, and reached 31 once.  

After almost nine months the numbers of fatality saw single figures for the two consecutive days on February 5 and February 6 recording seven and eight fatalities respectively.

In these 50 days, each day 18 people died on an average.

Test positivity rate below 3% for five days

The test positivity rate has also been below 5% for the last 22 days and under 3% for the last five days. 

This rate was last shown over 10% on December 19. Between June and August last year, a rate over 20% dominated most of the days. 

Situation will be normalized soon

There was a risk of Covid-19 spread during the ongoing winter but it is not happening, rather the death and infection rates clogged down, said Prof Dr Nazrul Islam, a senior physician of the country and a member of National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19

“Not everyone with Covid-19 symptoms undergoes the test but still I do not think that anything serious like a second wave will hit anymore. The numbers are going down naturally as people are roaming around places without maintaining health guidelines,” he added. 

Dr Nazrul also said: “I have a hypothesis that long before Covid-19, four other old respiratory viruses (Influenza, Parainfluenza type 3, Rhinovirus, Respiratory syncytial virus) existed in our country.

“During winter these viruses dominated the human body without giving any chance to Covid-19. This is why the deadly new strain of coronavirus could not affect much. A research is necessary to be conducted to know the real reasons, but that will be expensive.”

Quoting an IEDCR-icddr,b study conducted on samples collected till July 15, Dr Nazrul, also the former vice-chancellor Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, said that 6% of the people living in slum areas were infected with Covid-19 while 74% had the antibody to fight that. 

However, in non-slum areas, 9% of  the people got infected while antibodies grew in 48% of the people in those areas. As the slum areas are comparatively unhygienic, the old four kinds of viruses ruled there and lowered the infection rate as well as increased antibody among them.

Daily Covid-19 situation

With the latest infections, the number of all confirmed cases jumped to 539,153, according to the daily virus update by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), released on Wednesday afternoon.

The overall infection rate in the country stands at 14.22% from 3,792,241 tests that have been conducted so far.

The country registered 10 more deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the number of total fatalities to 8,239, some 1.53% overall mortality rate. 

So far, 485,290 patients — 90.01% of all infected — have made full recoveries across the country.

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