Covid positivity, death up by 50pc in a week

With 67 Covid deaths reported in the 24-hour period till 8:00am Saturday, the highest single-day deaths from the infection in 49 days, the Directorate General of Health Services said that the weekly Covid death count rose by almost 50 per cent.

Saturday was the last day of the 24th epidemiological week, said the DGHS, adding that the weekly test positivity rate also increased by more than 50 per cent compared with the week before.

A total of 395 people died due to Covid-19 in the past seven days, up from 270 people killed by the viral disease the previous week, as loosely enforced localised lockdowns failed to contain a fast spread of Covid-19.

The Khulna district administration on Saturday extended the restrictions on public movement and activities for the third consecutive week from Tuesday while the Bogura district administration is enforcing similar weeklong restrictions from today.

‘Covid infections rise amid lockdowns because these lockdowns are flawed and ineffectively implemented,’ said eminent virologist Nazrul Islam.

Reports from Khulna, Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions said that localised lockdowns were so weak that they even failed to make people wear mask, with restaurants and shops remaining open and vehicles operating regularly.

The ineffectiveness of lockdowns can be seen from the data provided by the government about test positivity rate for Khulna district.

The single-day test positivity rate in the district rose to 39 per cent on Saturday from about 20 per cent when restrictions were first imposed on June 4, according to the district civil surgeon office.

‘Law enforcers have been asked to go tough on health guideline violators during the third phase of the lockdown,’ said Khulna deputy civil surgeon Sheikh Mohammad Kamal Hossain after emerging from a meeting of the district Covid monitoring committee.

The committee also discussed possibilities of raising daily tests, which stayed around 400, but decided that there was no chance because of lack of facilities.

In Bogura, the test positivity rate doubled in the third week of June to 24 per cent from 12 per cent recorded at the end of the month’s first week, said Bogura deputy civil surgeon Mustafizur Rahman.

The number of weekly  deaths also saw a rapid increase with two deaths recorded in the first week of June, followed by seven deaths in the second week and 13 deaths in the third week, he said.

‘The overall Covid situation is deteriorating fast in Bogura and its adjacent districts,’ said Mustafiz.

Our Rajshahi University correspondent reported 46 new admissions at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital in the 24 hours till Saturday morning with the total number of patients with Covid-19 or its symptoms being 365 against the 309 Covid beds.

Experts have already advised halting vehicular movement between districts to contain the spread of Covid-19 from border areas to the country’s interior.

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research and the ICDDR, B in separate studies said that the delta variant was spreading fast in Bangladesh, including in the capital Dhaka, particularly after mid-May. 

After testing 16,964 samples in the 24-hour reporting period till Saturday morning, the DGHS said that the positivity rate was 18 per cent with the detection of Covid-19 among 3,057 people.

By division, the highest 35 per cent positivity rate was reported from Khulna while Rangpur and Barishal each reported about 30 per cent positivity, Rajshahi, Chattogram and Dhaka each above 15 per cent and Mymensingh and Sylhet each above 10 per cent.

The test positivity rate in Dhaka is steadily rising with continued high infections, often getting close to 40 per cent, in the districts of Tangail and Gopalganj, which is on lockdown.

On Saturday, the test positivity in Faridpur district was 43 per cent.

‘We are working to raise the number of Covid beds as the existing ones are filling up fast,’ said Rangpur Medical College Hospital director Rezaul Karim.

Fifty-eight out of the 100 Covid beds at the hospital, including eight ICU ones, have already been occupied.

The total Covid death toll since the disease emerged in the country in March 2020 has risen to 13,466 and the total number of infections to 848,027, according to the daily DGHS update.

Thirty-four of the fresh dead were men while the rest were women.

Government hospitals recorded 57 fresh deaths, private hospitals seven while three others died at home.

Khulna division reported the highest number of 24 fresh deaths, followed by Dhaka with 14, Chattogram with 11, Rajshahi and Rangpur with eight each and Sylhet and Mymensingh with one death each, according to the DGHS health bulletin.

Twenty-seven of the deceased were above 60 years while 22 were between 51 years and 60 years, 12 between 41 years and 50 years, three between 31 years and 40 years and another three between 21 years and 30 years, according to the update.

News Courtesy-