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Covid-19 deaths top 2,000: How Bangladesh fares against other countries

  • Published at 10:30 pm July 5th, 2020
dead covid
A relative wearing protective suit reacts while burying the body of a man who died due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at a graveyard in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 8, 2020 Reuters

With the latest developments, the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country now stands at 162,417

Bangladesh has been experiencing a steep rise in the number of Covid-19 cases for the last several weeks, and it only took 85 days since the first detection on March 8, to cross the 1,000 mark of deaths caused by the deadly virus.

However, Bangladesh with a population of over 160 million people took only 25 days to reach the next 1,000 coronavirus casualties on Sunday, when a fresh 2,738 people tested positive and 55 lost the battle against Covid-19 in 24 hours.

With the latest developments, the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country now stands at 162,417.

Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus fatality on March 18.

However, neighbouring India topped 2,000 fatalities and recorded 63,000 cases on May 10, just 59 days since first detection there. 

Pakistan on the other hand, reached a grim milestone with 98,943 confirmed cases on June 7, 81 days since the first death was reported there, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

At present, Bangladesh holds the 18th spot in terms of the number of total infected and is in 27th position when it comes to the loss of life in the list of countries that have been hit the worst by this outbreak.

Among top affected countries, Spain took 21 days to top 2,000 deaths, Italy 24 days, UK 25 days, Belgium 26 days, US 28 days, Germany 32 days, Brazil 33 days, Iran 36 days, France 44 days, Mexico and Russia 47 days, and Peru took 56 days.

If we look at Bangladesh, the country took 20, 34, 69, 85 and 97 days respectively to record 10, 100, 500, 1,000, 1,500 Covid-19 deaths. 

As of Sunday, Bangladesh reported a total of 2,052 deaths, Pakistan 4,712, Germany 9,081, Belgium 9,771, Russia 10,161, Peru 10,412, Iran 11,408, India 19,289, Spain 28,385, France 29,893, Mexico 30,366, Italy 34,854, UK 44,198, Brazil 64,365, and US 132,318.

Number of deaths against the number of cases

Currently, the fatality rate in Bangladesh stands at 1.26%, which is quite low compared to other countries of the world.  

The death rate in Russia is now 1.49%, in Pakistan 2.06%, in India 2.86%, in Peru 3.48%, in Brazil 4.08%, in USA 4.51%, in Germany 4.60%, in Iran 4.80%, in Spain 9.54%, in Mexico 12.04%, in Italy 14.44%, in UK 15.51%, in Belgium 15.80%, in France 17.90%.

Rise in recovery rate, but still low 

When it comes to the rate of Covid-19 recovery, Bangladesh is still lagging behind most other countries of the world.

Several revisions and adjustments were made by officials concerned to fix the parameters which are now being used to declare patients healthy. This move drew widespread criticism from health experts and the general public.

On March 13, only four days after the first Covid-19 cases in the country were officially reported, Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told the media that two of the only three patients then, had already recovered.

However, this rate was below 3% until early May.

On May 3, health authorities reported a sudden jump in the number of people recovered from the virus with 1,063 individuals joining the list in just 24 hours.

Although Bangladesh has crossed the US in terms of recovery percentages, it is still seeing a very low rate of 44.72%, compared to other countries fighting the coronavirus. 

The recovery rate in Belgium is now 27.64%, in the US, 42.94%, France 46.15%, Pakistan 56.82%, Mexico 60.4%, India 60.67%, Brazil 62%, Peru 63.4%, Russia 66.17%, Italy 79.51%, Iran 83.63%, and Germany 92.04%.

Tests per million

As many as 8,46,062 coronavirus tests have so far been conducted across the country and of that, 162,417 were positive. 

By analyzing government data, it was found that only 5,137 tests are being conducted per million of the population.

Amongst the worst-hit countries, only Mexico stands below Bangladesh in terms of testing, with 4,925 samples tested per million people. 

If we look at other countries, Pakistan as of now, conducts as many as 6,330 tests per million population, India 7,093, Brazil 15,668, Iran 20,773, France 21,212, Peru 53,432, Germany 70,101, Italy     92,636, Belgium 110,835, USA 111,639, Spain 116,543, Russia 144,375 and UK 152,313, according to Worldometers.

Bangladesh yet to reach 20,000 tests a day

Authorities here are still struggling to conduct 20,000 tests everyday despite the steep rise in Covid-19 cases across the country in the last several weeks.

As of Sunday, there are only 73 government approved testing centres in Bangladesh. 

Whereas, Italy took only 52 days, Russia 54 days, US 59 days, India 65 days, Chile 95 days, and Iran around 105 days, to achieve the same level of capacity. 

On average, Bangladesh was conducting 599 tests a day till it topped 100 deaths, some 6,469 on average when it topped 500 deaths, average of 11,783 tests when it crossed 1,000 deaths, and an average of 15,513 tests when it surpassed 1,500 deaths.

At present, 16,796 tests are being conducted on an average everyday.

Looking back 

On March 8, health authorities in Bangladesh reported the first three cases of Covid-19, a severe acute respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus strain which was later named Sars-CoV-2.

The country recorded its first fatality on March 18.

On June 10, Covid-19 deaths in Bangladesh crossed the 1,000 mark, and on June 18, the number of total cases crossed the 100,000 mark.

On June 30, the country recorded 64 deaths, which is the highest in a 24-hour span till now.

On July 2, as many as  4,019 cases were recorded, which was the highest in a single day till now.

The novel coronavirus broke out in China's Wuhan city in late December last year. It quickly spread throughout the world, becoming a pandemic in less than three months.

The fast-spreading coronavirus has claimed 534,000 lives and infected 11,411,000 people across the world till 4pm on Sunday, according to worldometer.

As many as 6,461,000 people have recovered from Covid-19 which has spread to 213 countries and territories across the planet.

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