The Financial Express

Experts see Bangladesh slipping deeper into Covid crisis

| Updated: July 27, 2021 16:42:08

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After Bangladesh reported single-day records in both deaths from Covid-19 and infections, public health experts worry that it may plunge even deeper into the crisis, bdnews24.com reports.

The government recorded 15,192 new coronavirus cases and 247 deaths in the 24 hours to 8am on Monday, both all-time highs after the outbreak began in the country in March last year.

Experts say the dreadful records are the results of the desperate situation of two weeks ago.

They had warned of the risks of lifting the strict lockdown for Eid-ul-Azha amid the spread of the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Now they say the consequences of the nine-day break will be apparent after two more weeks.

Public health expert Dr Mushtuq Husain pointed out that the case positivity rate hovered around 30 per cent in the past few days, but the number of tests dropped rapidly during Eid.

So, the number of deaths and infections would have been the same as Monday’s had the number of tests at the same level, he said.

It can generally be assumed that the number of infections will rise due to the lifting of the lockdown, remarked the adviser to the government’s disease control agency IEDCR.

“We allowed Eid cattle markets and shopping malls to open, and let the people travel shoulder-to-shoulder. The effects of these will be visible after a few days. It (number of infections) will obviously increase.”

He said it would take one more week to say whether the fatality rate has increased.

Dr Md Nazrul Islam, former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, also said the highest numbers of deaths and cases were the outcome of a rise in infections in the past few days.

“People left big cities like Dhaka for other parts of the country and then travelled back after the lockdown was lifted. The rise in infections because of this (travel) will show after around 15 more days,” he said.  

“If the situation does not worsen, then we are lucky. But I fear the situation may get worse.”

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