Bangladesh reported 28 coronavirus deaths on Friday – the lowest since June 1, when 22 people died of Covid-19 in a day.
“The death tally stands at 3,111 and the fatality rate is 1.31 percent,” Prof Dr Nasima Sultana, Additional Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said at a regular briefing.
Nineteen people per one million of the population are succumbing to Covid-19 in Bangladesh which is only bested by India and Pakistan in the region.
Bangladesh’s officially confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 2,37,661 with the detection of 2,772 new patients in the last 24 hours. Prof Nasima said the labs tested 12,614 samples.
“The daily infection rate came down to 21.98 percent on Friday,” she said, noting that 20.2 percent of the total 11,76,809 tests have been found to be positive.
During this period, 2,176 patients recovered, taking the number of recovery to 135,136. The recovery rate is 56.86 percent.
Dr Nasima noted that people aged above 60 years account for over 40 percent of total deaths.
Only 0.58 percent of total victims are aged below 10 years, 0.96 percent between 11 and 20 years, 2.8 percent between 21 and 30, 6.59 percent between 31 and 40, 14.05 percent between 41 and 50, 28.83 between 51 and 60 and 46.19 percent above 60 years, she said.
Meanwhile, the death percentage in the Dhaka division has fallen below 48 percent.
Of the coronavirus patients, 47.83 percent died in Dhaka, 24.8 percent in Chattogram, 5.95 percent in Rajshahi, 7.1 percent in Khulna, 3.9 percent in Barishal, 4.85 percent in Sylhet, 3.79 percent in Rangpur and 2.15 percent in Mymensingh division, Dr Nasima said.
Currently, 18,310 people are in isolation while 56,824 are at home and institutionally quarantined.
Out of the 550 ICU beds at hospitals, 219 are vacant, she said.
Fear of another surge
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18.
It is feared that Covid-19 cases will likely see a surge in the coming weeks as thousands of people left the cities to travel to their village homes to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest festival of the Muslims.
People were seen grossly violating physical distancing and health guidelines at many marketplaces and during their journeys.
Many huddled together in open jeeps and trucks to reach home.
No vaccine yet
WHO has described the Covid-19 as ‘first wave’, not just seasonal.
The UN health agency said the Covid-19 virus is likely not impacted by the changing seasons like other respiratory diseases.
It also urged to take measures for physical distancing to stop it from spreading.
Last week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the global Covid-19 cases had doubled over the past six weeks. He said almost 16 million cases have now been reported to WHO, with more than 640,000 deaths worldwide.
"This is the sixth time a global health emergency has been declared under the International Health Regulations, but it is easily the most severe," he said.
Coronavirus cases were first reported in China in December last year. The WHO declared it a pandemic in March.
Following health guidelines is the only option now as researchers are yet to develop a vaccine. Several countries and companies are leading the race but a vaccine cannot be expected to be available this year.
Moreover, rich countries have ordered millions of doses of potential vaccine, leaving the poor nations vulnerable to a protracted battle against the virus.