The rising trend of coronavirus infections is giving a hint about the second wave of the deadly virus as the country has been witnessing a further rise in Covid-19 cases for over a week.
Without preventive measures like wearing masks, the coronavirus situation may go beyond control anytime, health experts said.“During the first wave, daily coronavirus infection detection rate reached around 20 percent in the country and then decreased to nearly 10 percent. But for the last few days, the rate has been increasing further and it has already neared 15 percent,” Dr Md Habibur Rahman, director (MIS) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Daily Sun.
He further said the country’s people will have to remain alert as it cannot be said that the second wave of the deadly virus will not hit Bangladesh.
According to the DGHS, some 2,230 new coronavirus infection cases were detected in the last 24 hours till Tuesday morning, raising the total number to 4,51,990.
It said 16.86 percent of the samples have been diagnosed with coronavirus till the date while 14.85 percent samples have been diagnosed with the fatal disease in a day.
Thirty-two more corona patients died in the last 24 hours while the total number of deaths from Covid-19 disease has reached 6,448 in the country, it said.
Some 2,266 more patients have recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours, raising the total number to 3,66,877.A total of 15,018 samples, out of 15,265 collected, were tested at 117 labs in the country during the period, the report added.
Data of the DGHS said the rate of daily coronavirus detection was 15.06 percent (2,419 cases) on November 23, 14.85 percent (2,060 cases) on November 22, 14.61 percent (1,847) on November 21, 14.58 percent (2,275) on November 20, 13.48 percent (2,364) on November 19, 12.82 percent (2,111 cases) on November 18, 13.83 percent (2,212) on November 17, 13.57 percent (2,139) on November 16, 13.07 percent (1,837 cases) on November 15 and 12.98 percent (1,531 cases) on November 14 in the country.
The first case of Covid-19 was detected on March 8 while the first death was recorded on March 18 in the country.
“The rate of daily coronavirus infection cases has been increasing in the country. If people are not aware, then the situation may go out of control anytime,” Prof Dr Tahmina Shirin, Director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told the Daily Sun.
Claiming that the country’s coronavirus situation is comparatively better than many other countries in the world, she said the Covid-19 pandemic was not severe here from the first time. She hoped that the coronavirus situation might not be severe in Bangladesh.
“However, there is no alternative to alert. We have to wear mask, maintain hygiene and follow all other preventive measures to remain protected from the coronavirus infection and resist the possible second wave of the deadly virus in the country,” Dr Tahmina Shirin said.
Sources at different ministries concerned, including the health and family welfare ministry, said the government is getting tough with the implementation of its directives to save people from the possible second time coronavirus infection.
It also will increase testing to detect the deadly virus-infected patients while it has been carrying out countrywide campaign to make people aware about maintaining hygiene and wearing masks.
“Now the daily coronavirus case detection rate has increased again as it earlier neared around 10-11%. If the rate rises in current trend consistently for two consecutive weeks and the uptrend continues, then we will consider it a second wave of the virus infection in the country,” virologist Dr Nazrul Islam, a member of National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told the Daily Sun.
He said there is no alternative to maintaining necessary preventive measures like wearing mask and washing hands with water and soap frequently.
Nazrul Islam, also former Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), hoped that if the second wave of the coronavirus infection hits the country, it will be mild while the second wave of the deadly virus infection is severe in many countries.
“The second wave of the coronavirus infection will be mild in our country as many antibodies have been created among people already in the country,” he said.
The virologist also advised people and the government to remain alert and keep all necessary preparations like adequate beds for Covid-19 patients in hospitals, strengthening patient care services and ensuring use of mask by people, to resist the second wave of the deadly virus infection.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday renewed her call to go by the health rules in tackling the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I request you all to wear masks and follow the health codes to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic,” she said while addressing a meeting of secretaries of Awami League.
The World Health Organization’s emergencies director warned Wednesday that vaccines would not arrive in time to defeat the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.