Bangladesh logged 61 more coronavirus-related deaths and 1,914 new cases in 24 hours until Tuesday morning, showing a slight downtrend in daily fatalities and an uptick in infections.
The latest figures pushed up the death toll to 11,705 and the caseload to 7,65,596, according to a handout issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
However, the infection rate fell to 8.71 percent from Monday’s 8.95 percent while the fatality rate rose to 1.53 percent.
Bangladesh has recorded less than 70 virus related deaths since Friday. The body count soared to over 100 during April 16-19 and on April 25 but since then the daily fatalities have been falling gradually.
Bangladesh has so far tested 55,40,394 samples, 21,984 in the last 24 hours, according to DGHS handout data, provided this morning.
There has been a steady decline in tests between April 28 and May 2, leading to fewer case counts. New cases declined between April 26 (3,306) and May 2 (1,359) before an upward curve in the next two following days.
So far, 90.78 percent of the total patients (6,95,032) have recovered, including 3,870 new ones. The recovery number has been on the wane between April 28 and May 2 and picked up again from Monday.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8 last year, before confirming the first death 10 days later.
21% of total deaths in April
April has been the worst month for Bangladesh with 2,404 fatalities, accounting for 20.99 percent of the total death toll, and 147,837 new cases, according to DGHS.
In Bangladesh, 568 coronavirus-related deaths were reported in January, 281 in February and 638 in March.
Dhaka division saw most of the deaths – 6,812 or 58.20 percent – of the total fatalities.
Twenty-eight of the 61 deaths reported today are from Dhaka division and 18 from Chattogram division.
Lockdown continues till May 16
The ongoing lockdown imposed on April 5 has been extended until May 16 but people are hardly following health safety rules.
They are still crowding shopping malls and markets ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslims. Photos and videos shot by UNB correspondents show overcrowded shopping places and total indifference towards health guidelines.
There will hardly be any positive outcome if the people don’t follow health rules to protect themselves and others around them from coronavirus.
Meanwhile, intra-district public transport services will be allowed to resume from May 6.
Bangladesh kicked off its vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca doses it purchased from the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd.
Bangladesh signed an agreement with Serum for 30 million doses. But a record number of cases in India has made the delivery of the doses uncertain.
The administering of the first dose was announced of remaining suspended from April 26.
DGHS DG Prof ABM Khurshid Alam had assured that Bangladesh will get 2.1 million doses of vaccine by the first week of May.
In the last 24 hours, 38 people have received the first dose and 83,540 have received the second dose of Covid vaccine, said the DGHS handout.
The registration process for receiving the vaccine jab remains shut.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 28 approved in principle a proposal for producing Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines in Bangladesh.
The government on April 29 approved the emergency use of Sinopharm, a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, a day after approving the emergency use of Sputnik V vaccine of Russia.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said the Chinese government is working to start delivering Covid-19 vaccine doses before Eid-ul-Fitr although a 5-day May Day holiday is underway in China.
Meanwhile Health Minister Zahid Maleque shared a more specific date – May 10.
Incepta Pharmaceuticals, Popular Pharma and Health Care Pharma have the capacity of producing vaccines, and the Chinese vaccine could be produced locally, Director General of DGDA Mahbubur Rahman told reporters.
On April 28, Dr Shahida Aktar, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division noted that the government will purchase vaccine technology from Russian and China through direct procurement method (DPM).