Weekly COVID-19 cases, death rate rise before winter in Bangladesh

Cases top 4.45 lakh, death toll 6,350

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Nov 22,2020


The number of new COVID-19 cases hit an 11-week high at 14,785 in the 37th week of infections in the country, ahead of winter.

The number of cases in the 37th week, ended Saturday, was also 3,053, or 26 per cent more than that in the previous week, according to Directorate General of Health Services data.

The DGHS also recorded 177 deaths in the 37th week, up by 53 than that in the 36th week.

The number of deaths in the last week was also highest in the previous seven week.

Government high-ups and health experts feared that there would be a second wave of infections in the country in winter as witnessed in different Western countries.

Epidemiologist Mushtuq Hussain on Saturday said that the numbers of cases and test positivity rate were on the rise, which indicates a possible second wave of infections is in the corner.

‘If the trend continues for one or two weeks, we would call it the second wave of infections,’ he said.

Mushtuq, an adviser to the Institute of Epidemiology,  Disease Control and Research, said that the number of tests should be increased immediately.

He advised that the people detected with COVID-19 should be isolated and quarantined to prevent the spread of the infections.

‘People who are working are not willing to isolate themselves and people who were in close contact with infected patients are not willing to quarantine themselves,’ he said. 

The test positivity rate in the 37th week was 13.68 per cent, which was also highest in the previous 11 weeks and 13 per cent higher than that in the 36th week.

Bangladesh on March 8 confirmed the first cases of COVID-19.

The country entered the 38th week of the infections today. In the past 24 hours ending at 8:00am Saturday, 28 more people died of COVID-19 and 1,847 new cases were detected.

With the new figures, the country’s COVID-19 cases rose to 4,45,281 and the death toll hit 6,350.

Since the 29th week the country’s test positivity rate had been below 12 per cent till the 35th week.

But in the 36th week, the positivity rate increased to 12.06 per cent and it rose further to 13.68 per cent in the 37th week.

DGHS spokesperson Habibur Rahman said that they were observing the situation, adding that the rise in the positivity rate might be an indication of the second wave, but it would need few more weeks to determine the trend.

He said that the number of tests would be increased further to get a clear picture about the situation. 

In the 37th week, the number of tests increased to over 1 lakh, the highest after 17th week.

So far, 3,60,352 COVID-19 patients have recovered, including 1,921 in the past 24 hours.

The country had 78,579 active cases on Saturday, although only 3,139 of them were undergoing treatment in hospitals.

The DGHS in its daily update said that among the 28 new deaths, 16 occurred in Dhaka division, three died in each of Chattogram and Rajshahi divisions, two died in each of Khulna and Barishal divisions and one died in each of Sylhet and Rangpur divisions.

Nineteen of the deceased were above 60 years of age while six were in between 51 years and 60 years, one each was in the age group of 41-50 years, 31-40 years and 11-20 years.

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