Bangladesh records the third three-digit count of new patients in four days
Yet another 14 Covid-19 patients, including 11 males, died. While 1,041 more have tested positive with the new strain of coronavirus in the last 24-hours.
The latest body count pushed the death toll to 283, while the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases surpassed the grim 18,000-mark, climbing to 18,863.
Also, the number of newly reported cases is the second single-day highest so far since Bangladesh yesterday recorded the third four-digit count of Covid-19 patients since May 11.
Prof Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), revealed the latest figures through a daily online bulletin from Dhaka on Thursday.
Over the past 24-hour span, 7,837 samples were collected and 7,392 were tested in 41 labs across the country. A total of 151,930 tests have been conducted to date, she said.
Also, 242 people were cured of the ailment in the last 24-hours, bringing the count to 3,603.
Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque said the number of Covid-19 tests conducted across the country will be increased to 15,000 a day.
He made the announcement on Thursday in a reception event, for 5,000 nurses who have recently been recruited to combat the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, held at the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery in Dhaka.
He said: “The number of samples tested for Covid-19 has increased by manifolds in the last one month. As a result of this, we are detecting more coronavirus patients.”
“The more infected people we find, the lower the risk of infection gets. Meanwhile, we have enough test kits in hand to conduct 15,000 tests a day.”
General Holiday extended till May 30
The government extended the general holiday with some conditions till May 30 in a bid to prevent further Covid-19 infections.
The Cabinet Division issued a gazette notification on Thursday extending the nationwide general holiday.
In the gazette, the government announced the ban on all forms of travelling via road, air and waterways, excluding vehicles for emergency services or carrying goods.
Inter-district transport services will also remain suspended during this period, and people travelling from one upazila to another, or one district to another will be strictly regulated, it further said.
The travel ban will be strictly enforced by the district administrations and police, especially since officials are anticipating a huge rush during the Eid holidays.
“During the extended period [of general holiday], all kinds of public transport movement will be strictly restricted to prevent the transmission of the deadly coronavirus,” said Farhad Hossain, state minister for public administration.
The daily 8pm-6am curfew will still be in place; people can only step out for emergency purposes during the curfew, like to buy medicine.
All authorities concerned must strictly follow the health and safety guidelines announced by the Health Service Division to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, the gazette says.
Dhaka still in danger
As many as 4,588 of the total samples collected were tested at 20 labs of the capital city, leading to the detection of 754, or around 72.5% of the new cases.
Of the deceased, a maximum of nine hailed from Dhaka and the rest from Chittagong.
One of the deceased was aged between 20 and 30, one was in his 30s, five in their 40s, another five in their 50s and two were septuagenarians.
Threatening figures since 8th week
Bangladesh is now in the 10th week since confirming the first three Covid-19 patients on March 8. From then till April 25, there were 4,998 cases in the first seven weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
But the tally of cases surged to 3,972 in the eighth week (April 26-May 2), and to 4,980 in the ninth (May 2-May 9). Shockingly, the cases skyrocketed alarmingly between May 10 and yesterday morning, with two days to spare to complete 10 weeks.
In the eighth week, the government confirmed 35 fatalities, which almost doubled to 65 in the 10th week.