Bangladesh Covid-19 cases cross 300,000-mark with over 4,000 deaths

Dhaka, Aug 26 (efe-epa).- The number of coronavirus cases in Bangladesh crossed the 300,000-mark Wednesday, the authorities said, as the densely populated South Asian country struggles to contain the pandemic.

The country recorded 2,519 new patients in the past 24 hours from Tuesday morning, taking the total number of cases to 302,147.

The death toll from the virus reached 4,082, including 54 in the past 24 hours, the highest in a month, according to a statement from the Directorate General of Health Services.

“For the last one week we have infection rate less than 20 percent but death among the people with co-morbidity increased,” Nazrul Islam, a virologist, and member of the National Advisory Committee on Coronavirus, told EFE.

He said the government had to ease lockdown for economic reasons but the situation could have been better had there been a contract tracing an arrangement and isolation measures.

“The authorities do not have enough capacity for it and people also did not co-operate much,” Islam said.

With the new cases, Bangladesh closed in on Saudi Arabia as the 14th most-affected nation, according to the data by Johns Hopkins University.

Some people say the number of the infected could be much higher than the official data as many are refusing to get tested for several reasons, including the credibility of reports.

A study conducted jointly by IEDCR and Dhaka-based International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research and published earlier this month said around nine percent of the 20 million residents of capital Dhaka, amounting to some 1.8 million people, could be infected by the virus.

College student Jubair Al Mahmud said he did not go for the test despite feeling feverish and a few other symptoms as he did not have faith in the test result.

“I have been suffering from fever for about 10 days and also not getting any taste in my food. I am almost certain that I have been infected with the virus, but I did not go for a test as I was not sure if I would get the accurate result,” he said.

Many people also refrained from going to hospital due to inadequate treatment facilities.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services, Bangladesh has 14,843 beds for Covid-19 patients in 92 hospitals across the country. But 10,087 beds were unoccupied on Wednesday.

Bangladesh imposed a lockdown on Mar. 26 to check the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the move dealt a blow to the country’s economy and caused significant unemployment, especially in the textile sector, which contributed nearly 84 percent of the country’s total exports in 2018-19 when it shipped products worth $34 billion.

The country-wide lockdown measures were lifted on May 31, but they continue to remain in force in certain parts that are severely affected by the disease. EFE-EPA


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