Bangladesh is unlikely to see any improvement in the Covid-19 situation before June next as the country is still in the grip of its second wave, predicted by a group of local and international health experts.
Using a mathematical model, Bangladesh Como Modelling Group, a group of experts from both Bangladesh and Oxford University, also projected that the country will witness a similar infection rate intermittently till the end of May while the situation may improve in June.
However, some local experts think the virus is yet to reach its peak as it is spreading fast in newer areas alarmingly since many people had returned to their village homes from corona hotspots before the government enforced the lockdown.
Talking to UNB, Dr Abu Jamil Faisel, a member of Bangladesh Como modelling group, said: “We’ve a projection that the current uptrend in Covid deaths and cases will continue erratically until the end of May. The situation may improve in June.”
He said they think the country is going through the peak of the fresh wave of the virus. “As per our projection, there’ll be a month of plateau and the country will witness the similar infection rate for two more weeks and then it’ll start flattening.”
Faisel said they projected that the infection rate will not substantially fall till the end of May. “But we couldn’t clearly project the death rate as it often fluctuates, and it depends on hospital management and some other factors. But it’s my personal assumption that the total death toll may surpass 12,000 at the end of May month.”
He said they shared their projection with the government. “We’re going to update the projection as we’re working on it.”
Dr Faisel, also a member of the public health expert team for the eight divisions formed by the government, said they recommended taking a coordinated and effective plan to break the cycle of the corona transmission.
“Cent percent mask use must be ensured and the number of the daily tests must be increased so that the positive cases can be detected fast for putting them in isolation. We also need to focus on contact tracing,” Dr Faisel said.
Besides, he said, they suggested setting up field hospitals for ensuring better patient management at the initial stage of infection. “There should be dedicated ambulances for carrying Covid patients to hospitals.”
Strengthening preventive measures
Meerjady Sabrina Flora, additional director general of the health directorate, said the peak of the virus depends on some factors. “If we can strictly maintain the preventive measures we’ve taken now, then we can expect to see a gradual fall in virus infection rate.”
She said the number of deaths is high but not the virus death rate. “As the infection number has increased, the number of deaths has also soared.”
Flora said the Coronavirus death rate was 1.53 before the fresh wave of the virus, but this has now come down to 1.43. “That means the number of deaths increased due to the rise in the number of infections.”
She said there is no alternative to controlling the transmission of the virus to lower the number of deaths. “We must strengthen our preventive measures to check the virus infections.”