• Monday, Aug 10, 2020
  • Last Update : 05:27 pm

Covid-19: Despite rising positivity rate, testing almost halved in a month

  • Published at 07:49 pm August 1st, 2020
coronavirus test MHO
File photo: A health official uses a nasal swab to collect sample from a man for Covid-19 testing at Central Police Hospital in Rajarbagh, Dhaka on Thursday, May 21, 2020 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

21 new deaths reported alongside 2,199 new cases in daily briefing

The health authorities reported 21 new deaths from coronavirus and 2,199 new cases on Saturday as the country celebrated Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest festival of Muslims.

The number of deaths reported was the lowest in over two months (since May 27). Bangladesh’s overall death toll now stands at 3,132.

In the last 24 hours, labs tested 8,802 samples, 24.9 percent of which turned out positive (daily infection rate or positivity rate). It was the highest since July 15, when 3,533 samples out of 14,002 tested positive for Covid-19, giving a positivity rate of 25.2%.

The overall infection rate in Bangladesh now stands at 20.2%, with 239,860 positive cases out of close to 1.2 million tests. 

The number of tests continued to decline on the first day of August, as it did throughout July, even though the proportion of tests coming back positive, known as the daily infection rate or positivity rate, continues to rise.

DGHS records show the number of daily tests reported at the beginning of July hovered around 18,000 (18,426 on June 30; 17,875 on July 1; 18,362 on July 2). The positivity rate at the time was hovering in the early twenties (20-22%).

It preceded the start of a gradual slowdown that over the last 4 weeks saw the number of tests decline to 15 to 12 to 10,000 per day. Today it fell back to four figures – 8,802 – for the first time since the move to ramp up testing in early April.  

The Eid holiday possibly contributed to the further decline today, in which case there could be even fewer tests in the days ahead.

The country is currently going through its 21st week of infection, having reported its first cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18.

Among the 21 new deaths reported on Saturday, 16 were male and five were female. Nearly 80 percent of the victims were men.

Prof Dr Nasima Sultana, Additional Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), revealed the information at the daily health bulletin broadcast from Mohakhali.

She noted that 1,117 people had been cured in hospitals and at home in the preceding 24 hours. “So far, 1,36,253 people have recovered from the disease, the recovery rate being 56.81%.”

Of them, two were aged between 11 and 20, one between 41 and 50, four between 51 and 60, eight between 61 and 70, five between 71 and 80 and one between 71 and 80 years, Nasima Sultana said.

As of Saturday, nearly 1,500 people have died in Dhaka division alone. “1,497 have died in Dhaka, 762 in Chattogram, 186 in Rajshahi, 226 in Khulna, 124 in Barishal, 151 in Sylhet, 118 in Rangpur and 68 in Mymensingh division,” she said.

At present 18,581 people are in isolation, while 56,272 are quarantined in the country, at home as well as institutionally.

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