A big leap in new cases | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 30, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:51 AM, May 30, 2020

A big leap in new cases

2,523 test positive in 24hrs as highest number of tests conducted

Just two days before the ongoing nationwide shutdown is relaxed, 2,523 people tested Covid-19 positive in the country yesterday, the highest number yet in Bangladesh in a single day.

Yesterday also saw the highest number of tests conducted in a 24-hour period.

Twenty-three more people died from coronavirus infection during that period, according to Directorate General of Health Services.

The death toll now stands at 582, and the number of patients is now 42,844, said DGHS.

Meanwhile, health experts fear the reopening of offices and businesses without proper health and safety measures may deteriorate the situation further.

"The country will fall into extreme risk. The number of patients will rise many times, but hospitals will not be able to handle the pressure," said Prof Muzaherul Huq, former adviser (Southeast Asia region) of the World Health Organisation.

Prof Be-Nazir Ahmed, former director of disease control at the health and family welfare ministry, said instead of being strict, the government was relaxing the closure at a time when the number of patients was climbing.

"We're not against the lockdown lifting. But some preparations are needed beforehand. I found it absent," said the public health expert.

For instance, an infected assistant to a bus driver will act as a super-spreader of coronavirus as he usually deals with passengers.

"So, special measures are needed for bus drivers and their assistants, but we have not yet heard of any such steps taken for them," said Prof Be-Nazir.

Both experts once again suggested that the government lift the closure in phases to reduce risks.

BRIEFING

During yesterday's briefing on the Covid-19 situation, Prof Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general (administration) of DGHS, said they collected 12,982 samples and tested 11,301 in 24 hours since Thursday morning.

"So far, we've conducted 2,87,067 tests. In the last 24 hours, 2,523 people tested positive, bringing the total number to 42,844," she said.

Of the 23 deceased, 19 were male and four female, Prof Nasima said, adding that 10 were from Dhaka, nine from Chattogram, two from Rangpur, and one each from Barishal and Sylhet.

The victims were aged between 11 and 90, she added.

Meanwhile, 590 more Covid-19 patients recovered, taking the number to 9,015, she said.

Some 328 people were kept in isolation in the past 24 hours, Prof Nasima added.

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