Bangladesh COVID cases drop, but deaths rise to record level in strict lockdown week

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-04-22 00:42:07 BdST

Bangladesh has posted record 602 deaths from COVID-19 in a week of strict lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak even though the infection rate has dropped at the same time.

The stricter rules came into force on Apr 12 following another week of a lax lockdown and the government has extended the existing curbs to Apr 28.

The death toll was 466 in the week to Apr 14 and 342 in the previous seven days.

In the past week, the country experienced more than 100 deaths in the daily count for four days in a row.

On Apr 19, the toll was 112, the highest in a day.

The Directorate General of Health Services reported 24,698 COVID-19 cases among 154,070 samples tested in the week to Wednesday, yielding a positivity rate of 16.03 percent.

In the previous weeks, the ratio of sample tests to positive cases hovered around 20 percent. 

The new patients have put the caseload at 732,060 with 10,683 deaths.

Bangladesh reported 47,518 new coronavirus cases from Apr 5 to Apr 11, the highest weekly rise, after the country entered the lockdown to stem the surging outbreak. The death toll in that week was 504.

Public health expert Dr Mushtuq Husain said at the time he believed two more weeks would be needed to see the results of the restrictions.

“The rise in cases we see now is the result of activities of two weeks ago," he offered.

"The deaths now are from the three-week old infections. We will need to wait two more weeks to see the trend in mortality rate."

Infections have been surging since mid-March along with the number of tests.

On Apr 12, Bangladesh tested 34,968 samples, a daily record.

A rush of vehicles plying the Mirpur Road in Dhaka's Shyamoli on the seventh day of strict lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus infection. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

A rush of vehicles plying the Mirpur Road in Dhaka's Shyamoli on the seventh day of strict lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus infection. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

The number began dropping as the lockdown got stricter. On Apr 16, it slid to 16,185 before rising again.

On Wednesday, the government reported 4,280 new cases out of 28,408 tests with a positivity rate of 15.07 percent. The death toll in the daily count was 95.

Bangladesh recorded the first COVID-19 death on Mar 18 last year, 10 days after the detection of the first cases.

The deaths began rising afterwards and hit 64 in the daily count on Jun 30, the highest in 2020.

The outbreak eased gradually and the number of deaths dropped to as low as five in the beginning of March this year.

Then came the second wave, setting new records in death counts. A study revealed that the more contagious and deadly coronavirus variant, first detected in South Africa, dominated the cases from mid-March.