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2,191 people die with Covid-19 symptoms in Bangladesh: Report

'Mutation of coronavirus in the country faster than global average'

| Updated: September 25, 2020 16:49:56

A healthcare worker, wearing protective suits, sits inside an ambulance that carrying the dead body of a victim who died with Covid-19 symptoms in Dhaka — File photo A healthcare worker, wearing protective suits, sits inside an ambulance that carrying the dead body of a victim who died with Covid-19 symptoms in Dhaka — File photo

A total of 2,191 people died with Covid-19 symptoms in the last six months from March 22 to September 19 across the country, according to a latest report.

Of them, at least 16 died between September 1 to September 19, which was the lowest monthly figure since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, showed the report prepared by a project styled 'Bangladesh Peace Observatory (BPO)' under Centre for Genocide Studies at Dhaka University.

Apart from this, citing a research conducted by the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), the BPO said that the coronavirus is mutating rapidly in Bangladesh. The rate of mutation in Bangladesh is 12.60 per cent where globally the rate is only 7.23 per cent.

According to the BPO report, the months of August, July and June saw 200, 309 and 843 Covid-19 like deaths respectively.

The highest number of deaths with coronavirus symptoms was recorded in the week between June 21 and June 27 when a total of 222 people died.

The peace observatory project has prepared the report based on information from 25 media outlets, including national and regional dailies, TV channels and news portals. However, this information was not verified from the field level.

The BPO project has been regularly publishing reports on multiple issues with financial support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

According to the report, during the period under review, the Dhaka division saw 394 deaths with Covid-19-like symptoms while the number of similar deaths recorded in Chattogram division was 728. Mymensingh division had 60 such deaths, the lowest record, added the BPO report.

Sylhet, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Khulna and Barishal divisions reported 102, 219, 95, 349 and 244 deaths respectively.

Meanwhile, the BPO report said the law enforcers arrested 87 people on charges of ‘spreading rumours and false information’ about the virus in connection with 86 incidents from March 8 to September 19.

Besides, 635 people were arrested allegedly for embezzling relief materials, adulterating food and violating government guidelines on the pandemic as of September 19.

As many as 244 incidents of torture and social stigma related to the coronavirus crisis in the country were reported during the pandemic (till September 19).

Between April 26 and September 19, different districts witnessed a total of 292 incidents of protests that included demand for relief materials and assistance, payment of salaries and bonuses, against irregularities in distribution of relief materials, medical equipment, mismanagement in the health sector and lay-off/closure and pay cuts. Some others demonstrated against lockdown rules, demanding accountability, against the proposed budget and bus fare hike and for reopening of the economy.

As many as 150 incidents of violence took place across the country following the coronavirus outbreak from March 12 to September 19.

At least 24 people were killed and 606 injured in such incidents, said the BPO report.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a recent virtual meeting expressed her anxiety about the possible second wave of Coronavirus in this coming winter. She also asked other ministers and activists to remain alert and take preparation to fight against coronavirus.

The government, however, will shut off 12 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals across the country for not getting enough patients as these hospitals cost money, technical support, and manpower to operate.



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