Bangladesh records 201 deaths from COVID in a single day as cases increase Coronavirus pandemic news


Bangladesh reported 201 deaths on Wednesday by COVID-19, the highest number in a single day since the pandemic began in March last year.

It was the first time that the death toll exceeded the figure of 200 in a 24-hour cycle in the South Asian nation of about 165 million people, with a total of 15,593 deaths.

On Monday, a one-day maximum of 164 deaths was recorded. The first week of July saw 1,090 deaths, which is also the highest of any week during the country’s pandemic.

A total of 11,162 people were also diagnosed with the disease in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 9,777,668, officials said Wednesday.

With coronavirus cases and deaths registering new records, Bangladesh extended a strict national closure on Monday for another week.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in neighboring India, is behind the rise in infections in Bangladesh, which is overwhelming its healthcare system and fueling fears of a medical oxygen crisis.

The variant reached the border regions of Bangladesh in the northern and south-western regions last month and is now spreading rapidly to urban and rural areas across the country.

More active variant

Tahmina Shirin, director of the Dhaka-based Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Al Jazeera that they found the Delta variant in 78% of the total samples they sequenced. last month.

The IEDCR first detected the Delta variant in Bangladesh on 8 May. The following month, they found that the variant already had community transmission in the country.

While districts bordering India, including Dinajpur, Chapainawabganj, Pirojpur, Khulna and Satkhira, witnessed the proliferation of the Delta variant, it has now also begun to dominate transmission in Dhaka, Shirin said.

“We believe the strict blockade has helped curb the spread of the Delta variant, but it has not been able to stop it completely,” he said.

Shirin said people who had taken two coronavirus vaccines were also found to be infected with the Delta variant.

“Still, our best chance to fight this variant is to get completely vaccinated,” he said.

Only 3 per cent of the population of Bangladesh has received both doses of the vaccine.

After a promising start earlier this year, the country’s inoculation program was successful after India, facing a second deadly wave of the virus, stopped exporting features of AstraZeneca.

The vaccination program, however, has been rejuvenated over the weekend after Bangladesh received 2.5 million doses of the Modern U.S. vaccine and two million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

Experts worried about the holidays starting

Meanwhile, experts are worried and fear the worst of the next few days, as two potential “super-diffusion” events, the famous cow market and Eid al-Adha, are just around the corner.

Before the Muslim festival every year, several makeshift camps take place mainly in Dhaka and the port city of Chattogram, where cattle traders from all over the country sell the slaughtered animal. Millions of people attend these markets.

The two largest cities are also witnessing an exodus of millions of people taking trains, buses, ferries and private vehicles to the countryside to celebrate the festival with their families.

Bangladesh infectious disease expert Be-Nazir Ahmed told Al Jazeera that the government should extend the strict closure, which will end on July 14, to Eid al-Adha.

“The government should also stop cattle traders coming to the capital from the countryside, especially from the districts bordering India, where COVID infections are at their peak,” he said.

Ahmed said that if the blockade is relaxed and people are allowed to move, the country could witness “a big explosion of COVID” after the Eid al-Adha festival.

“The number will be huge. We will face a situation like the one in India a few months ago, ”said Ahmed, a former director of disease control at the Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) in Bangladesh.

DGHS spokesman Nazmul Islam said government policymakers are aware that the situation is likely to worsen if the closure is relaxed before the Muslim holiday.

“If the current trend of cases continues, the strict blockade could be extended,” he said.

Islam said the government is currently focusing on increasing the number of hospital beds and ensuring adequate manpower in COVID-19 hospitals.

“In addition, we are also examining the need to establish field hospitals, especially outside of Dhaka,” he said.

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