Amid the fear of a fresh wave of Covid-19 and detection of the UK variant of the virus, Bangladesh witnessed a sharp increase in the number of deaths and new cases on Monday.
The deadly virus claimed 26 more lives and infected 1,773 more in the past 24 hours till Monday morning.
With the latest figures, the Covid-19 fatalities have climbed to 8,571 and the total infections to 559,168, according to a handout of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The daily infection rate jumped to 9.48 percent from 7.15 percent on Sunday.
But the mortality rate has remained static at 1.53 percent over the past three days, which had been 1.54 percent in the past few weeks, the directorate said in the handout.
The virus infection rate came down to below 5% on January 19. It even had come down below 3 percent. However, the infection rate soared again on Tuesday last as it increased to 5.13%.
The infection rate was 5.98% on Wednesday while it was 5.82 percent on Thursday, 6.62% on Friday and 6.26% on Saturday.
Besides, 1,432 people have recovered from the virus infection in the past week or so. So far, 513,127 patients (91.77 percent) have recovered, according to the DGHS.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8, 2020, and the first death on March 18 the same year.
Authorities have so far tested 4,283,246 samples, including 18,695 in the past 24 hours.
Vaccination drive in Bangladesh
Bangladesh launched its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive on February 7.
By Sunday, 4,398,094 people received the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The second dose has to be taken between 8 and 12 weeks of the first one.
The government is providing the vaccine for free. It signed an agreement with India's Serum Institute for acquiring 30 million doses of the vaccine.
The institute will provide five million doses every month between January and June. Those who are 40 or above can register for getting the jab at www.surokkha.gov.bd as the on-spot registration system has been revoked.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said that the age limit for getting the vaccine will be revised when more doses are available in the country.
The government is going to take a tougher position to fight Covid-19 transmission, Health Minister Zahid Maleque announced Monday.
The ministry has sent letters to the districts, directing officials concerned to levy fines on people flouting Covid protocols, he said.
After nearly two months, coronavirus infections topped the 1,000 mark on consecutive days late last week and jumped to almost 1,800 on Monday. “So the government is again going to take a tougher position,” Maleque said.
“Educational Institutes were scheduled to resume from March 30, but the closure will be extended if the infection keeps surging at the present rate,” the Minister said.
“We are concerned as the infection and the death rate of Covid-19 suddenly hiked,” he added.