When the lockdown was imposed, daily Covid-19 test positivity was around 24% but after 14 days the rate now stands at 31.46%
The Covid-19 scene is becoming more catastrophic with no sign of relief. The country registered 13,768 cases in the 24 hours to 8am yesterday, which is the highest single day caseload till now.
During the same period Bangladesh also recorded 220 deaths.
The country has registered over 200 single day deaths on four of the last six days. A total of 1,247 people have died of the disease in the last six days.
Additionally, except for Friday, the number of positive cases has been over 11,000 for the last six days (since last Tuesday).
Bangladesh went into a fresh lockdown on June 28 and a stricter one began from July 1, shutting down all businesses, transports and offices. But that did not stop the surge in infections and deaths.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), when the fresh lockdown was imposed, the daily Covid-19 test positivity was around 24% but after 14 days the rate now stands at 31.46%.
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The DGHS says Khulna is currently the hotspot of Covid-19 in the country but Dhaka registered the highest number of deaths (64) in the last 24 hours. Dhaka saw 49.16% of the total deaths since the first death from Covid-19 on March 18 last year.
Khulna yesterday recorded 55 deaths while Chittagong recorded 37 deaths. The two divisions are followed by Rajshahi with 23 deaths and Rangpur with 18 deaths. Mymensingh recorded 13 deaths while Barisal recorded four and Sylhet recorded six deaths.
The health authorities carried out 44,067 tests between Sunday 8am and 8am yesterday, the highest in a single day.
However, they are yet to reach their highest capacity of testing, which is said to be 50,000 a day. Currently they are doing tests in 627 labs across the country. Among the labs 80 are run by private companies.
Rt-PCR testing is conducted in 130 labs while 50 labs are conducting genexpert tests. Rapid Antigen tests are conducted in 447 labs.
The Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, said the authorities were trying to increase the volume of tests to ensure early detection, not only for identifying the cases but also for saving lives, especially of people from rural areas who are not aware of the disease yet.
He said measures were being initiated to make people aware and all resources were being utilised to provide better treatment to patients.
Eminent virologist Prof Dr Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee for Covid-19, said the government had been asked to implement the lockdown strictly from the very beginning. However, it was being observed in name only.
Higher infections in Sylhet, Chittagong, Rangpur, Dhaka
Dhaka division recorded an infection rate of 31.26% yesterday while Chittagong had a 34.10% infection rate. Sylhet had the highest infection rate of 37.39% with 375 new cases on the same day.
In Khulna the infection rate was 29.61% while it recorded 55 deaths.
Dr Rasheda Sultana, Divisional Director of Health, said the daily death toll had decreased from the previous day, while the number of new infections had risen. Khulna had recorded 66 deaths on Saturday.
The scene is completely different in Barisal. The number of deaths increased to 22 from eight, but positive infection decreased to 575 from 710 in the last 24 hours.
In Rangpur the infection rate was 31.44% yesterday. Rangpur Divisional Health Officer Dr Jakirul Islam said that among the eight districts in the division the situation of Dinajpur, Rangpur, Thakurgaon, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram was worsening.
Rajshahi also reported a more than 4% increase in the infection rate, taking it to 29.63% yesterday. Some 14 people died at the coronavirus unit in Rajshahi.
At least 26 people died with Covid-19 like symptoms in six districts. However, the DGHS did not mention anything about people who were dying with Covid-19 symptoms either in the coronavirus unit or in the isolation centres.
Healthcare professionals said patients coming late were delaying getting treatment, assuming it to be seasonal flu. They were dying at the beginning of their treatment.
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A ward master working in the coronavirus unit of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital said most of the patients admitted there were coming from rural areas in “severe” conditions and so it had become hard to save their lives.
However, he could not confirm how many patients died with Covid-19-like symptoms on Sunday.
Our correspondent from Faridpur reports that at least seven people died with Covid-19 symptoms in the district.
Meanwhile, four people died in Rajshahi district with Covid-19 symptoms while six people died with Covid-19 symptoms in Bogra.
In Tangail, the number of infected patients and deaths has been increasing continuously. The district reported five deaths in 24 hours while another four people died with Covid-19 symptoms.
Dr Suhasranjan Sarker, spokesperson of the corona unit of Khulna Medical College Hospital, said at least five people had died at the unit having Covid-like symptoms.
Our correspondents Anisur Rahman Swapan, Barisal; Dulal Abdullah, Rajshahi; Hedait Hussain, Khulna; Liakat Ali, Rangpur; Rashedul Hasan Kajol, Faridpur; Nazmul Huda Nasim, Bogra; Abdullah Al Numan, Tangail contributed to the report.