During June-July of 2020, Bangladesh witnessed a peak season of the coronavirus infection. Particularly the period between the mid-June and mid-July saw three to four thousand infected patients every day.
Afterwards, the pandemic situation seemed under control for several months.
However, a rising trend of infection has again shocked the country in the early March after nine months of steady situation.
The number of daily-basis infected patients has been crossing 3,000 for the last five days.
Given the situation, experts have warned that the Covid-19 infection rate is going to reach at the peak again.
The 55th week since the first coronavirus patient was reported in Bangladesh saw more than 23,000 new coronavirus patients, similar to the three weeks from 14 June of 2020.
Like some European countries, Bangladesh has already been hit by the second wave of Covid-19 infection, public health experts think. They are suspecting the situation is likely to get worse than the peak season in 2020.
The Covid-19 daily death rate has also been going up with the increased infection rate.
The 55th week saw a total death of 201 coronavirus patients. The previous weekly death toll crossing 200 was counted in September 2020.
A comparison between the 55th and the 54th weeks depicts an increase of death rate by 42.55 per cent and number of patients by 85 per cent.
The World Health Organization (WHO) refers a pandemic under control if the infection rate remains below five per cent for two consecutive weeks.
Bangladesh witnessed less than five per cent infection rate since mid-January and seven weeks onward.
In the 55th week, around 13 per cent of Covid-19 tested people were found infected.
This is noteworthy that participants of the programmes on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s birth centenary and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence–whether asymptomatic or not, attended Covid-19 testing as a means of precaution, increasing the number of daily testing.
Besides, a huge number of foreigners also got Covid-19 tested.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan of China in the late 2019 and had spread all over the world. Bangladesh announced its first Covid-19 detection on 8 March, 2020 and the first Covid-19 death on 18 March of that year.
Although the rate of infection and death stayed at low in the beginning, the situation had gradually worsened from the end of May.
There were two fluctuations in the infection chart since August. From late 2020 to mid-February this year, the contagion seemed under control.
From then on, the number of new patients started to grow again from the mid-March.
Professor Mushtuq Hussain, consultant at the state-run Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Prothom Alo that Bangladesh witnessed a rising slope of the infection graph.
“Currently, the line is curving up steeply. The Covid-19 infection rate has been increasing for the last three weeks. If the situation remains uncontrolled, it would turn worse in the coming June-July than the previous corresponding months.
He reminded that some precautionary measures after a rise of infection rate during November resulted in positive change.
"But no effective measures have been taken till now after the second wave hit the country. This is crucial to identify the infected persons and enforcement of quarantine for the people who come in contact with the patients," the expert said.
"Besides ensuring health guidelines, all kinds of public gathering inside four walls must be restricted,” said Professor Mushtuq Hussain adding that the kind of health guidelines enforcement at the recent Parade Ground events set a good example.
*This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Sadiqur Rahman