Undetected cases on the rise | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 05, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:15 AM, June 05, 2020

Undetected cases on the rise

2,423 new cases reported; 35 die

Officials reported 2,423 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, while experts said the actual number of people getting infected was much higher.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in its daily briefing said 35 Covid-19 patients died in the 24 hours preceding 2:30pm, taking the toll to 781.

The new cases were detected after testing 12,694 samples in 50 labs across the country. Around 19 percent of those samples tested positive, slightly lower than the previous day's 21.5 percent and Tuesday's 23 percent.

Over the past month, the percentage of people testing positive increased significantly.

A month ago on May 4, only 10.9 percent of the individuals tested were found infected: 688 positive cases after 6,260 tests.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 9 percent of the samples testing positive means that the transmission is not under control.

With yesterday's cases, the country has 57,563 confirmed cases.

"Although this rate is not representative of reality, it gives an indication that there are many more undetected cases," infectious disease specialist Prof Ridwaur Rahman told The Daily Star yesterday.

However, noted virologist Prof Nazrul Islam cautioned against reading too much into the percentage of people testing positive.

"It does not mean too much. When samples tested are mostly from Dhaka city, the rate increases. When the people tested are mostly from outside, it falls. The difference is not much," Prof Nazrul Islam said.

Areas that are hotspots have more people testing positive, he explained.

Prof Nazrul who is also a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee of Covid-19 said, "We would say the transmission is not decreasing."

Both the experts said the number of daily tests was inadequate in terms of the size of population.

As of yesterday, there were around 20 tests per 10,000 people in the country.

To contain the outbreak, experts said there is no alternative to rigorous testing.

"Unless we go for vastly more tests, isolation and treatment, it would be tough to control the epidemic," Prof Ridwanur said.

During yesterday's briefing, Prof Nasima Sultana of the DGHS said the death rate in terms of total detected cases was 1.36 percent as of yesterday.

Meanwhile, a total of 571 Covid-19 patients recovered, taking the total number of recoveries to 12,161.

With this, the recovery rate now stands at 21.13 percent, according to the DGHS.

She added that 386 people were put in isolation.

Among yesterday's victims, 29 were male and six female, she said adding that 21 were from Dhaka, nine from Chattogram, two from Sylhet, one each was from Rajshahi, Barishal and Khulna divisions.

Of them, three were aged between 21 and 30, one was between 31 and 40, three between 41 and 50, 14 between 51 and 60, 11 between 61 and 70, two between 71 and 80, and another was between 81 and 90.


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