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Dhaka Tribune

US puts Bangladesh in high risk category. But is it so?

In the last 28 days Bangladesh registered 32,962 cases. This means almost 1,177 a day, or 20 cases per 100,000, far below the CDC threshold

Update : 26 Jul 2022, 10:11 PM

In the latest move involving travel alert amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added Bangladesh and five other countries to its "high" risk category.

“Make sure you are vaccinated and up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to Bangladesh. If you are not up to date with Covid-19 vaccines, avoid travel to Bangladesh,” the CDC said.

The list also names El Salvador, Honduras, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Fiji.

However, it appears that Bangladesh may have been wrongly put on the list, given the CDC rules in this regard.

Level 3 or the "high" risk designation, applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Level 2 and Level 1 are considered "moderate" and "low" risks, respectively.

In the last 28 days starting June 28, Bangladesh registered 32, 962 Covid-19 cases. This means the South Asian country of nearly 170 million, according to the Worldometer, saw almost 1,177 people getting infected with the virus daily over the period. 

It translates into about 20 cases per 100,000 people in the 28 days till Monday (July 25) – 80% less than the CDC threshold.

Covid-19 killed 29,275 people and infected 20,02,944 in Bangladesh so far as it four new fatalities and 621 in the past 24 hours till Tuesday.

The recovery count rose to 19,38,372 after another 1,132 patients were discharged from the dedicated hospitals during the 24-hour span.

With the latest figures, the country now has 35,297 active cases as compared to 31,149 on June 28. 

If the active cases are considered in line with the CDC parameter, Bangladesh would need 170,000 cases to enter the Level 3 category.   

The Level 3 category became the top rung in terms of risk level in April after the CDC overhauled its ratings system for assessing Covid-19 risk for travellers.

There were more than 120 destinations at Level 3 on Monday. Level 3 locations account for about half the roughly 235 places monitored by the CDC.

Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern or health care infrastructure collapse. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Level 4 so far.

More on Level 3

Much of Europe has been stubbornly lodged at Level 3 for months with the summer travel season in full swing. As of Monday, the popular European destinations were among those remaining at Level 3: France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Those aren't the only high-profile spots that find themselves at Level 3. Numerous other destinations around the world are among those in the "high" risk category, including Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey

The CDC suggests that people get up to date with Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Level 3 destination.  

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