Marking another grim Eid under the shadow of a pandemic and amid growing concerns about the highly infectious delta variant, Bangladesh saw 173 more Covid-19 deaths Wednesday.
Also, Covid-19 infections in the country have reached 97% of the peak, with 11,533 new cases reported on average each day. The highest daily average was recorded on July 15.
Bangladesh recorded 7,614 new infections in 24 hours till Wednesday morning after testing 24,979 samples – 14,531 fewer compared to yesterday.
The country reported its highest daily Covid-19 fatality number – 231 – on July 19 and 13,768 infections on the 12th of the month. Wednesday's death counts and cases are the lowest in 14 days and 18 days.
However, Bangladesh is in the grip of a second wave of the virus that is threatening to overwhelm its health service. There have been 1,136,503 infections and 18,498 coronavirus-related deaths here since the pandemic began, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Meanwhile, the daily test positivity rate rose to 30.48% from Tuesday's 29.31% when the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a 5% or below rate.
As the death rate stood at 1.63%, Dhaka division reported the highest 58 deaths, Khulna 38, Chattogram 32, Rangpur 16, Rajshahi 11, Barishal eight, Sylhet six, and Mymensingh four.
However, the recovery rate increased to 84.56%.
So far, Bangladesh has administered at least 11,341,291 doses of Covid vaccines – enough to have vaccinated around 3.1% of the country's population, assuming every person needs two doses.
The government allowed an eight-day pause in the nationwide strict lockdown for Eid-ul-Azha despite fears that crowding at shopping centres, cattle markets, and big gatherings could become super-spreader events.
The country imposed its toughest lockdown at the start of July. Under the lockdown, people were only allowed to leave home to buy essentials and for emergencies.
However, with the recent removal of the curbs ahead of Eid celebrations, people were seen breaking Covid-19 rules while they were on the streets and in the markets and malls.
Uncontrolled movement of people and rampant breaches of health rules before and after Eid could make things worse because of the fallout from the lockdown pause.
At least 26.2 lakh subscribers of the four telecom operators left Dhaka in three days starting July 15 to celebrate Eid, according to Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar.
With Covid's Delta variant spreading fast, the country's fatalities have been hovering at approximately 200 for the last two weeks.
July looks to be the most devastating month since Bangladesh saw its fast Covid cases in March 2020, with around 4,000 deaths so far. Earlier, it recorded 2,404 Covid deaths in April, 1,169 in May and 1,884 in June.
The WHO has reported that globally, Covid-19 cases and deaths had soared after periods of decline, with the reversal spurred in part by the delta variant.