Bangladesh marks downward trend in new COVID cases after Delta scare

Vendors sell a variety of toys in Dhaka’s “mini Cox’s Bazar.” Photo: Kazi Salahuddin Razu
Bangladesh is witnessing a gradual decline in daily COVID-19 cases after the highly contagious Delta variant wreaked havoc on the country’s fragile health systems.

No new cases were registered in 29 of the country's 64 districts in the 24 hours to 8 am on Sunday. Zero deaths were recorded in 52 districts in that period. But as many as 314 people tested positive for the disease and 16 had died, according to the latest government data.

The Delta variant ran rampant across the country from the last week of June until August. The daily caseload, deaths and infection rate were setting new records at the time. At one stage, the daily caseload exceeded 16,000 and the death toll crossed 250.

Infections began to drop from the first week of September. The caseload dipped below 300 on Saturday and six people were reported dead, the lowest such figures in eight months.

“The transmission is now uneven across the country. This decline in infection rate is satisfactory, but it may go up again,” Mushtuq Husain, an advisor at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, told bdnews24.com.

The infection rate has dipped to an all-time low, said Husain.

“But we cannot drop our guard. At one time, infections dropped to zero in several countries, including Australia, Vietnam, Korea, and China. But there has been a resurgence of infections in those places due to the Delta variant. There is no guarantee that the infections will not rise again in our country,” he said.

“That is why we have to be extremely vigilant until infections drop to zero across the world.”

So far, 1,565,488 people have been infected by the virus in Bangladesh and 27,768 have died.

Globally, over 240.48 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and 4.89 million have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.