Dhaka, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- Bangladesh’s Defense Secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury and the wife of a cabinet minister died on Monday due to the new coronavirus disease, becoming the latest high-profile victims of the epidemic as it intensifies, with the nationwide death toll climbing to nearly 1,800.
Chowdhury died at 9.30 am at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka, according to Md Mahmud-ul-Haque, an additional secretary of the ministry.
The bureaucrat is the senior-most government official to die of Covid-19 and had been admitted to the hospital since the first week of June when he tested positive, Haque said.
Meanwhile Laila Arjumand Banu, the wife of Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, also perished to the novel coronavirus in the same hospital on Monday morning.
Ministry spokesperson Sufi Abdullahil Maruf said in a statement that Banu was declared dead at 7.45 am.
The minister and his wife were both admitted to the hospital on Jun. 13 after they tested positive for the virus, but Mozammel recovered from the disease later and returned home.
The deaths of Chowdhury and Banu follow a series of other high-profile Covid-19 casualties in the country, as at least one minister, a former health minister and many former lawmakers have died while many leaders and officials tested positive.
According to Bangladesh’s directorate general of health services, 45 new deaths and 4,014 fresh cases of the disease were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 1,783 and total number of confirmed cases to 1,41,801.
With the latest figures, Bangladesh overtook South Africa and moved to the 17th place in the list of most-affected countries in terms of cases, according to data released by the United States-based Johns Hopkins University.
The South Asian nation had imposed a lockdown on Mar. 26 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, although the measures dealt a severe blow to the country’s economy and were lifted on May 31, except in the worst affected areas. EFE-EPA