A week of mounting fear after end of lockdown
Sunday sees the highest 42 deaths, with 2,743 more new cases the number of infected people rises to 65,769
Only seven days into reopening offices, shopping malls and public transports the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Sunday reported a record number of 42 deaths from coronavirus infection in the country.
This was the highest number of deaths from coronavirus infection in a single day since the first death on March 16.
The same day a total of 2,743 new cases were detected among 13,136 samples in the country's 52 testing laboratories.
With the new 42 deaths the total number of deaths in Bangladesh now stands at 888 officially while the number of corona-infected people rose to 65,769.
Bangladesh currently is in the 20th position on the global list of the countries infected with the deadly
Health experts in Bangladesh said the Covid-19 situation would become one of the world's worst cases within just a few weeks.
According to the Worldometers, Bangladesh is holding 7th position in Asia. Infection rate is the third highest among South Asian countries.
It's now right behind India, which is 6th in the world and 1st in South Asia while Pakistan 15th in the world and 2nd in South Asia.
The difference may be that massive testing efforts helped most other countries to detect cases and isolate patients effectively resulting in early flattening of the curve. But, Bangladesh has a limited scope for testing the Covid 19 infected persons.
In the last week after easing lockdown on May 31, the infected patients were double the number of the immediate previous week before easing lockdown.
The statistics of the last two weeks indicate that identification of Coronavirus patients have doubled after Eid festival when people in hundreds went to their village homes and came back soon after the festival was over.
About delay in test result Dr ASM Alamgir, Chief Scientific Officer of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said, "After collecting Covid-19 symptoms they are immediately sent to selected labs but the test results comes out late due to insufficient skilled manpower.
"As some labs are new they are not capable of testing more than 200 to 250 in a day. But we are trying to increase the testing capability very soon," he said.
Still, Bangladesh is lying at the bottom among the South Asian nations in conducting tests against per million people.
Bangladesh reports 316 cases of Covid-19 in a million population, almost the same as Pakistan which reports 335 cases per million.
The total number of coronavirus samples tested in Bangladesh is now 397,987 since March 8.
Bangladesh has 160 million people where test rate per million is only 2,418, only 2.2 in a thousand and the one of the lowest sample testing countries in the world.
Our health agency is still scrambling to increase the testing capacity to identify patients and isolate them.
On March 26, the day the two-month general holidays began, the IEDCR announced that it had conducted only 126 tests in the previous 24 hours and reported five cases and zero deaths.
A month later, when the government allowed RMG factories to reopen, the IEDCR said it ran 3,473 tests, reported 418 positive cases and five deaths.
After one and a half months, on June 7 after the government eased lockdown, reopened shopping malls and allowed public transports to run the Health Directorate reported 2,743 new cases through testing 13,136 samples pushing up the total number of confirmed cases to 65,769 and 42 deaths, the highest in a day.
Due to the low testing capacity, people are waiting indefinitely to be tested when early tests and detection are the keys to successful stemming of the spread of the disease.
Prof Abul Kalam Azad, Director General for Health Services, said, "I think that coronavirus will linger for the next two to three years."
Covid-19 cases will increase across the country especially in city areas as people are to go out of homes to go to offices to join works where most of the people are unknown to each other, he said.
Despite ominous signals Bangladesh has only tested 397,987 people so far or 0.2% of the total population.
The leading indicators for Covid-19 is climbing inexorably which can be more dangerous than the worst affected countries like Italy, Spain, UK, and the USA.
Be-Nazir Ahmed, Former Chief Scientific Officer of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said, "Firstly, if coronavirus sample test result can be provided within a day, it will be better to isolate the patient from others."
Otherwise he or she turns into a medium for spreading the deadly virus. Secondly, the patient gets proper treatment as soon as possible, he observed.