Though coronavirus infections continued to rise in the country over the last few weeks, health experts are hopeful that there will be a decline in cases at the end of April if people adhere to recommended health guidelines strictly and vaccination is implemented successfully.
“It’ll depend on people’s behaviour as to how long coronavirus cases keep rising. Only maintaining health protocols properly can halt the spike in coronavirus infections. If the preventive measures are followed strictly, coronavirus infections may start declining after around three weeks,” Prof Dr Tahmina Shirin, director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told the Daily Sun on Thursday.She, however, said even if Covid-19 cases start to fall, there is no scope of showing any laxity in maintaining the health codes. “People must continue following the health guidelines, including wearing face masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing.”
Bangladesh reported its highest-ever spike in daily coronavirus cases with 6,469 registered over the 24 last hours till Thursday morning, taking the national caseload to 617,764. Previous highest 5,358 infections were recorded on Wednesday.
With this, Bangladesh reported over 5,000 cases for the fourth consecutive day.
In the last 24 hours, 59 more Covid-19 patients died, highest single-day death tally in over nine months, to bring the total death toll to 9,105.
During the period, the positivity rate was 22.94 per cent which was 19.90 per cent on March 31, 18.94 per cent on March 30, 18.38 per cent on March 29, 17.65 per cent on March 28, 14.90 per cent on March 27, 13.69 per cent on March 26, 13.26 per cent on March 25 and 12.97 per cent on March 24.
The daily positivity rate came down to around 2 per cent one month back after it started to fall in July last year.After a gradual fall, both the number of cases and the positivity rate started soaring again from the second week of March.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has identified 31 districts as highly coronavirus transmitted areas.
“The rising trend of coronavirus infection will stop after a certain period as people are developing antibody and second doses of the vaccine will be given soon. However, we have to maintain health guidelines strictly and extensively to stop the further spread of the virus,” Dr Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told the Daily Sun.
Describing reasons behind the current surge in coronavirus infections, he said around 50 per cent of the total victims are getting infected with the UK variant while people were reluctant to abide by the health guidelines.
Following the fresh spike in the coronavirus cases, the government has already taken a number of measures to chase away it.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on March 26 issued an 18-point directive, including limiting public gatherings for the next two weeks, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has also proposed partial lockdowns for some places with higher coronavirus transmission rates.
Meanwhile, speaking at a virtual programme marking the inauguration of 10 new ICU beds at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday said no beds at the coronavirus units will remain vacant if coronavirus infections continued to rise in the country.
“People irrespective of party affiliation and opinions will have to come forward to stop the spread of the virus. If the Prime Minister’s 18-point directive is not followed and health guidelines are not properly maintained, the coronavirus situation may take a serious turn in the next few days,” he said.
Zahid Maleque said the government has increased the number of beds in Covid-19 units of all government hospitals across the country, including Dhaka, as Dhaka North City Corporation market has been turned into a 1,250-bed corona-dedicated hospital with 50 ICU beds and 200 HDU beds.
Talking to the Daily Sun, Dr ASM Alamgir, principal scientific officer at the IEDCR, said, “There’s no alternative to maintaining health guidelines. Everybody has to wear masks, wash hands and follow other preventive measures even after getting vaccinated against coronavirus.”
According to the DGHS, 5,412,791 people have so far received their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The administering of the second dose is scheduled to start on April 9.