Country combats corona successfully

Infections cross 5.5 lakh, deaths near 8,500 in one year

Mohammad Al Amin

8 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The government has tackled the Covid-19 pandemic successfully by overcoming all problems since the detection of the fatal viral disease in Bangladesh just one year ago.

The first case of coronavirus was detected on March 8, 2020 and the first fatality was reported on March 18 the same year.

Official data shows that over 5.5 lakh infection cases have been detected and nearly 8,500 deaths reported so far across the country.

“At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were many problems over the prevention and treatment of the disease in Bangladesh, but the government has overcome the problems by arranging good treatment facilities. It has brought the coronavirus situation under control,” Dr Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told the Daily Sun.

Meanwhile, WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has praised Bangladesh for its success in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the country is a unique example of containing

the virus.

The global communities, including China, India and the United States, have also highly praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership in fighting the pandemic.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), a total of 41,46,205 samples have been tested so far to detect coronavirus infection

across the country. The coronavirus test is being carried out in 118 RT-PCR labs, 27 Genexpert labs and 72 rapid antigen labs.

There are a total of 10,283 general beds and a total of 566 ICU beds in designated Covid-19 hospitals in all divisions of the country.  Some 8,694 general beds and 389 ICU beds have remained vacant across the country till Sunday morning. 

There are 12,772 oxygen cylinders, 715 high-flow nasal cannulas and 660 oxygen concentrators for Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the country, the health directorate data added.

The DGHS said the number of total coroanvirus cases has stood at 550,330 as the infection rate reached 13.27 per cent in the country. And the total number of death from Covid-19 has been recorded 8,462 while the death rate has reached 1.54 percent till Sunday morning.

The daily infection rate has risen 4.30 percent in the 24 hours till Sunday morning while it has increased a little bit in the last few days as earlier declined to around 3 percent in the last few weeks.

Some 1,037 more Covid-19 patients have recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours, raising the total number to 503,003 in the country till the day. The recovery rate also has reached 91.40 percent.

The daily coronavirus infection rate has come down to around 3 per cent in the last few weeks though it has been fluctuating sometimes and has risen to around 4 percent in the last few days. The daily coronavirus infection rate had risen over 15 percent in the country in the last few months in 2020.

Professor Dr Tahmina Shirin, director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told the Daily Sun, “Although the coronavirus infection rate has increased a little bit in the last few days, but overall the infection case has declined.”

Mentioning that although the viral infection rate remains under control in the country, it may increases anytime, health experts have warned that there is no alternative to the preventive measures properly, including mask wearing and hand washing.

Dr ASM Alamgir, principal scientific officer of the IEDCR, said the coronavirus situation has now remained under control due to the combined efforts.

“Although people were puzzled about coronavirus at first, the government has overcome the crisis by arranging good treatment and testing facilities. People have also played a role in the success through maintaining preventive measures,” he said.

“Low death rate in coronavirus compared to many other countries is another success of Bangladesh. If we continue the preventing measures like wearing mask and washing hands alongside the vaccination, we can overcome the pandemic,” Dr Alamgir, also a virologist, added.

Health experts said Bangladesh is now on the way to achieve herd immunity against coronavirus soon as vaccination is rolling out across the country and the daily Covid-19 detection rate has declined.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 'Herd immunity', happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.

“People have to continue following all preventive measures properly as they have to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distance. There is no alternative to these,” said Nazrul Islam, also a virologist.

He has suggested that the government carry out antibody test across the country to measure the situation of growing antibody among people after the vaccination.

“Although the coronavirus was supposed to increase last winter, it didn’t happen so. The reasons behind it may be viral interference. There is also possibility of rising coronavirus infection in summer. It finally may not take any serious turn as vaccination is going on and immunity has been growing among people,” Nazrul Islam, also former VC of BSMMU, said.

The DGHS said 50,17804 people registered for Covid-19 vaccine till 5:30pm of March 7 and 37,89,352 people already received the coronavirus vaccine in the country. The countrywide inoculation was started on February 7, aiming to vaccine all eligible people in phases.