The country detected its first coronavirus case on 8 March, last year. After 10 days, the government confirmed the first death report on 18 March. And on the 499th day, the country recorded the highest number of deaths in a day on Monday. A total of 231 people died Monday. With this, the total death toll in the country exceeded the 18,000 mark.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), a total of 18,125 people have died in the country as of Monday. In the last five days alone, the country reported more than a thousand deaths. In terms of age, some 55.38 percent of those who died on Monday were people over 60 years of age and 19.71 per cent were aged between 21 to 50 years.
Till 1 June, the percentage of people above 60 among the deceased was much higher. Till that day, some 56.88 per cent of the deceased were above 60. On the other hand, 17.93 per cent of the deceased were aged between 21-50 years.
Coronavirus was first detected in the Wuhan province of China in December, 2019. In February, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) and China published a combined report. It said among the infected persons in China, some 77.8 per cent are aged 30-69 years and some 80 per cent of the deceased are above 60. The report also mentioned that the risk of death is high among the people above 60 and the people with high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic respiratory complications.
So far the death toll due to the pandemic is the highest in the USA. According to the figures of ‘statista.com’, the country recorded a total of 596,740 deaths till 7 July. Of them 4.68 per cent were aged between 18-49 years.
So far, no research has been done to find out why the deaths of young people are suddenly increasing. There has not been much analysis on Covid related deaths from the government level either.
Nazrul Islam, former vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and virologist, told Prothom Alo that the information provided by the DGHS is not very detailed. If we could analyse several Covid related deaths, if details such as the symptoms the patients exhibited or they died within how many days could be found, things would have been much clearer. However, no such information is available and this is a crisis.
According to the DGHS, a total of 45,012 samples were tested in the country from 8 am on Sunday to 8 am on Monday. Of these, some 13,321 people were diagnosed with coronavirus infection. The patient identification rate as compared to the total number of tests was 29.59 per cent. The detection rate reduced a bit in recent times, however, for the three days it was above 29 per cent.
According to the standards set by the WHO, the coronavirus situation is under control in a country if the patient detection rate is below five per cent for at least two weeks in a row. According to that, the coronavirus situation in Bangladesh is far away from being brought under control.
Till Monday, more than 1.1 million (1,117,310) people in the country have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection. Of them, some 941,343 have recovered and some 18,125 have died. The mortality rate as compared to the total number of the detected patients stood at 1.62 per cent on Monday.
The second wave of the pandemic emerged in the country in March this year. The situation was brought under control to some extent at some point, but started to deteriorate in May, especially in the border-lying districts. Even district wise restrictions could not bring the situation under control.
By June, the coronavirus transmission was on the rise all over the country. The delta variant of coronavirus spread all over the country at this time. Although strict restrictions were imposed for two weeks from 1 July to slow down the transmission of the virus, any positive effect is yet to be observed. Thousands of people were flocking to the animal markets after the restrictions were lifted ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. Thousands of people went to their villages to spend Eid with their families. Overall, the public health experts fear that the Covid situation may worsen after Eid.
Public health expert Jamil Faisal said the coronavirus transmission is so high at the moment due to the spread of the delta variant. Children and young people are being affected more by this variant. Covid related casualties are also on the rise due to the delta variant.
*This report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ashish Basu