Amid an alarming surge in Covid-19 cases, Bangladesh recorded 5,683 fresh cases and 58 deaths in the last 24 hours until Saturday morning.
The health authorities recorded over 5000 Covid cases on March 29, 30 and 31 while over 6000 cases on April 1 and 2.
The infection rate slightly fell to 23.15 percent from 23.28 percent on Friday when the country recorded 6,830 cases, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Thursday, the number of new cases was 6,469 and on Wednesday, the number was 5,358.
The number of daily cases and infection rate dropped below 5 percent earlier this year but then infections continue to rise again amid people’s reluctance to maintain health safety rules.
Hospitals are struggling to provide treatment to the increasing coronavirus patients with their limited resources. The government is increasing the number of beds and Covid-designated hospitals to deal with the situation.
Bangladesh has so far recorded 630,277 coronavirus cases, according to a handout issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
During the 24-hour period until Saturday morning, 2,364 patients recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 549,775.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8 last year and confirmed the first death from the virus 10 days later.
The country has so far tested 4,752,661 samples, including 24,100 in the last 24 hours, the DGHS said.
Meanwhile, the fatalities rose to 9,213 with the new deaths. The mortality rate fell to 1.46 on Saturday from Friday’s 1.47 percent.
Coronavirus claimed 568 lives in January this year, 281 in February and 638 in March.
Among the latest victims, 39 died in Dhaka division, 12 in Chattogram, One each in Rangpur and Mymensingh, three in Khulna and two in Barishal division.
So far, 5,267 coronavirus patients died in Dhaka division, 1,664 in Chattogram, 508 in Rajshahi, 592 in Khulna, 276 in Barishal, 327 in Sylhet, 377 in Rangpur and 202 in Mymensingh divisions.
So far 6,925 men (75.17) and 2,288 women (24.83) died of Covid-19.
Govt set to impose ‘lockdown’
On Saturday, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the government is set to announce a seven-day lockdown from Monday to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said the decision for a countrywide lockdown for seven days would come within “two to three days”.
In a video message, he said the institutions providing emergency services would be open during the lockdown.
“Industries and factories will remain open too,” he said. “Workers will have to follow health guidelines and work in shifts (during that period).”
Govt strengthens protective steps
The daily surge prompted the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to issue an 18-point directive on March 29 to prevent the virus’ transmission.
On the same day, the Health Ministry proposed strict measures like partial lockdowns for some places with higher Covid-19 transmission rates.
The government launched a countrywide vaccination campaign on February 7 with doses received from the Serum Institute of India.
Bangladesh inked an agreement with Serum in December last year for 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Serum is supposed to supply the doses between January and June this year – 5 million each month.
Also read: Global Covid cases top 130 million
Coronavirus cases were first reported in China in December 2019.
The world hit another grim Covid-19 milestone on Saturday, as the total caseload surpassed 130 million and 2.8 million deaths so far, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
A number of vaccines have been developed to fight the virus. Most notable of them are those made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca.