Coronavirus: 32 died in five days

A man reacts before the body of his father, a ward master at Suhrawardy Hospital in Dhaka, who died under treatment at the hospital after showing coronavirus symptoms. The deceased was Covid-19 positive in the test report received after death.Prothom Alo file photo

The country is seeing deaths from coronavirus every day now. Seven people died on Tuesday. The number was 12 a day before on Monday, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). With this, a total of 32 people died of coronavirus infection in the first five days of July.

Public health experts say that if the rate of coronavirus transmission keeps rising, so will the casualties. The detection rate was low even in the first week of June. The situation has deteriorated gradually after that. Now, the daily detection rate is over 15 per cent on average.

According to the figures of the DGHS, the coronavirus detection rate was 16.74 per cent in the last 24 hours from 8.00am Monday to 8.00am Tuesday. It means some 16 among every 100 coming with symptoms are being diagnosed with coronavirus.

The public health experts are fearing a spike in coronavirus transmission ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. Cattle markets are being set up in every city of the country, including the capital, district cities and upazila sadars.

The gathering of people in these places will increase. Apart from that, the number of people heading home is also increasing in the public transport ahead of the Eid holidays, which will increase further in the coming three-four days.

However, people are reluctant to follow the health guidelines, including wearing masks. Therefore, it is being feared that coronavirus transmission will spread further in the coming Eid holidays. Already coronavirus patients have been detected in more than 50 districts of the country.

Mushtaq Hossain, a consultant at the government's Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Prothom Alo, “The number of people at different centres, including the IEDCR, has not increased from what it was in the last week. From this it would not be unreasonable to assume that the infection in Dhaka is somewhat stable. Although it is increasing, it's not that much. The transmission is increasing mainly outside Dhaka.”

According to public health experts, social transmissions have already occurred in Chattogram outside the capital. It may have happened in one or two other districts as well. If the social transmission of coronavirus spreads to most parts of the country, the number of infected people will increase further.

Asked when the infection may begin to decrease, IEDCR consultant Mushtaq Hossain said, "It may happen by the end of July."

The public health experts say the people dying of coronavirus now, had contracted the virus two or three weeks ago.

They say the BA-5 sub-variant of Omicron has become a big concern in containing the spread of the virus. Bangladesh is going through an outbreak of BA-5 sub-variant.

The scientists are yet to find out whether this variant is more lethal than the previous ones or not. They say the BA-5 sub-variant of Omicron can deceive our immune system created by the coronavirus vaccine.

Although the vaccines are not effective in containing the transmission of coronavirus, it is reducing the severity of the disease, the public health experts say. The vaccinated coronavirus patients are suffering less and most of them do not need hospitalisation.

The DGHS has so far vaccinated some 129.4 million people in the country with the first dose of coronavirus vaccine and 119.8 million people with the second dose. And the third dose or booster dose has been given to some 29.6 million people. Besides, it has also been decided now to vaccinate children aged between five to 12 years.

The public health experts have repeatedly warned regarding the necessity of wearing masks in this situation. They say one must wear a mask while going outside even if the person is vaccinated. Other health guidelines should also be abided by. The government has also spoken about the obligation to wear a mask. However, no visible steps have been taken to make it effective.