2020-05-18 20:51:29 BdST

Covid-19 situation to worsen after Eid: experts

Experts concerned think Covid-19 infection increased recently as the lockdown was not maintained properly, and many garment factories and markets opened. 

Moreover, they fear, the infection and death will rise further next week as many people have left Dhaka for their village home ahead of Eid.

According to the health directorate, of the total infection and death so far, 34 percent infections and 31 percent of deaths were reported only in the last week.

Till date, 23,870 were infected with Covid-19 and 389 died in Bangladesh, of which, 8,179 were infected and 110 died last week.

During the last 24 hours (8 am Sunday-8 am Monday), 1,602 people got infected and 21 died of Covid-19, which is the highest number of infections and deaths in the country, informed Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the health directorate, during the regular virtual briefing on Monday. 

Besides, 9,788 samples were tested in 42 laboratories in the last 24 hours and 1,85,196 samples have been tested, she added.

Of the deceased, 17 are male – 12 of them are from Dhaka division, seven from Chattogram, one from Sylhet and one from Rajshahi. Fifteen patients died at the hospital and four died at home. 

Experts concerned blamed the increasing number of infections and deaths on the authorities' failure to control Covid-19 situation in Dhaka division and mismanagement in hospitals.

Former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and virologist Dr Nazrul Islam said, "On May 9, the average infection rate was 11 percent but on May 18 it stands at 16 percent. All these patients are from Dhaka, and the increase is a consequence of not following proper lockdown and opening garment factories and markets."

"Many people from Dhaka are going to villages. So, Covid-19 will spread in villages which were free of infection. After Eid, the situation will deteriorate across the country," he added.

According to the latest data by the health directorate, 19.21 percent of Covid-19 patients have recovered and 1.46 percent died.

Prof Muzaherul Huq, a former adviser of WHO's Southeast Asia region, said, "The number we see at present is not the real picture of infection as it is based on those tested. There are many patents among those who were not tested. The government has to increase the number of tests to identify them."

"When community transmission has started, people are at high risk of infection as the lockdown has been loosened. To save people's lives, an adequate number of oxygen cylinders and oxygen mask should be made available at upazila levels from now," he added.

Prof Muzaherul said districts outside Dhaka needed to be categorised as green, yellow and red zone during the Eid vacation and impose lockdown or other measures. There is no other way to fight Covid-19 now.

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