COVID-19 infections top 40,000 in Bangladesh, death toll reaches 559

Record 2,029 infected in 24 hours

Manzur H Maswood | Published: 14:43, May 28,2020 | Updated: 04:42, May 29,2020


The COVID-19 infections in the country continued to break records as the latest 24-hour reporting period saw the number of new cases crossing past 200.

In the 24 hours ending at 8:00am Thursday, 15 more people died of the disease and a record 2,029 new cases were detected.

With the figures, the death toll reached 559 and the number of infections hit 40,321 in the country, said Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services, in the daily online bulletin on the COVID-19 situation.

Amid the rising trend of infections, the government on Thursday issued a notification saying that the general holiday, which was extended up to May 30, would not be extended further and businesses, offices and public transport would be reopened on a ‘limited scale’.

The coronavirus infections and deaths marked significant rises in the last couple of weeks, especially after May 10, the beginning of the 10th week of infections, when the government eased the lockdown to reopen markets, malls, and mills and factories.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University’s former vice-chancellor Nazrul Islam said that they were afraid that the rate of infections would see further rises after Thursday’s government decision.

‘We earlier said that the easing of lockdown [on May 10] would give us a picture about what would happen in the next few days, whether the infections would increase or decrease,’ he reminded.

‘But we have seen that the infection rates were going up with the passage of days after the lockdown was eased,’ said Nazrul, a noted virologist.

‘Now the new relaxation of the public movement will further push up the infection rate,’ he warned.

Nazrul, also a member of the National Technical Committee on COVID-19, said that the government did not consult the technical committee before announcing the decision.

‘We’ll send our recommendations to the government from the technical committee by Friday,’ he said, adding that they would discourage the government from effecting the relaxation on the public movement.

In the past six days — from May 23 to May 28 — at least 10,113 people were diagnosed as COVID-19 positive and 127 lost their lives to the infection.

Nasima said that 9,310 samples were tested in the 24-hour period and 2,029 of them were found positive for the virus.

It was yet another record for the country to detect over 2,000 positive cases in a day since Bangladesh on March 8 confirmed its first COVID-19 patients.

The country recorded its first COVID-19 death on March 18.

The country was in the 12th week of infections and passed the 82nd day on Thursday since the first infections. In the 11th week, the number of infections in the country was 11,083 and that of deaths 138.

The 10th week saw 7,225 infections and 100 deaths.

The ninth week witnessed 4,980 infections and 39 deaths while the eighth week 3,792 infections and 35 deaths.

Until April 30, the country had 7,667 COVID-19 cases and 168 deaths.

While briefing the media on the daily COVID-19 situation, Nasima urged people to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices to keep the COVID-19 infection at bay.


COVID-19 situation in Bangladesh until May 28, 2020. Source: Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research

The infections and deaths have increased manifold since the government has relaxed the lockdown on May 10, also the beginning of the 10th week of the infections.

Amid the rising trend of infections, the government on Thursday issued a notification saying that the general holiday, which was extended upto May 30, would not be extended and the business, offices and public transport would be opened up in limited scale.


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