• Friday, Jun 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:04 pm

Health experts: Covid-19 cases will spike in Bangladesh within a week

  • Published at 06:16 pm August 7th, 2020

However, they now say the spike in cases may not be significant like Eid-ul-Fitr as they had anticipated earlier

Health experts warn that Bangladesh will see a spike in Covid-19 cases within a week of Eid-ul-Azha, just like the country logged an increased number of cases after Eid-ul-Fitr.

Almost a week has passed since the festival on August 1. Health experts are apprehensive that the upward trend in Covid-19 infection rates will manifest within a week, as several crore people moved about and traveled, engaged in sacrificing animals in the country.

From the very beginning of the month of July, experts gave clear warnings to the Covid-19 management authorities and the government about the potential rising trend of cases after Eid-ul-Azha.

However, they now say the spike in covid cases may not be significant like Eid-ul-Fitr as they had anticipated earlier.

In July, the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 recommended several measures, including avoiding setting up cattle markets in four coronavirus hotspot districts -- Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur, and Chittagong -- in order to check the transmission.

Alongside the promotion of online cattle markets, they also stressed the need for implementing health guidelines strictly.

Prof Shah Monir Hossain, a member of the public health advisory committee of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said people did not follow the health guidelines in their activities, particularly in travelling home or buying and selling animals and distributing meat during the Eid festival. 

As movement took place without enforcement of preventive measures, there should definitely be a spike of Covid-19 cases in the country, he said. 

Several days have passed after the Eid holidays and the impact of the uncontrolled movement will appear within a week, he added.

However, Prof Be-Nazir Ahmed, former DGHS director (disease control), said although there is no doubt about the increase of Covid-19 cases following the holidays, the number of infections could be comparatively lower. 

"And, there is no credit for DGHS or health authorities as the truth is that the  floods played a key role here.

"Fewer animals were brought to the cattle markets and sacrificed this Eid. And that is why fewer people were involved in the process." 

The floods also prevented many people heading to or leaving Dhaka, the professor added.

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