The number of Covid-19 patients in the country surged past the 1.5 lakh-mark as 4,019 new cases of infections were reported yesterday, so far the highest in a single day.
On the 116th day since the first case was confirmed on March 8, the total number reached 1,53,277.
Covid-19 cases had passed the 50,000-mark on June 1 and crossed the grim milestone of one lakh-mark on June 18. It means more than a half lakh new cases were reported in the 14 days alone.
Previously, the single-day record number of new cases -- 4,008 -- were reported on June 16.
The authorities said 38 Covid-19 patients died in the country in 24 hours till 2:30pm yesterday, taking the official death toll to 1,926, which is 1.26 percent of all confirmed cases.
The first coronavirus death in Bangladesh was reported on March 18.
At an online briefing yesterday, Prof Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services, said 18,362 samples were tested at 70 laboratories across the country in those 24 hours.
Since January 21, a total of 8,02,697 samples have been tested, shows DGHS data. As of yesterday, 19.1 percent of the samples were found to be Covid-19 positive.
Prof Nasima said 4,334 Covid-19 patients recovered in the 24 hours, taking the number of recovery cases to 6,442.
Analysing the continuous surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, experts said there seemed to be no signs that the situation would improve soon.
Since the country reported 18 new cases on April 5, registering a 26 percent increase from the previous day, the numbers have only mounted, according to the website of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
Asked, experts said with inadequate testing facilities, it was tough to come up with any projections on the number of Covid-19 cases.
The positive rate hovered near the 20 percent mark [between 18 and 24] for last the one month, they said.
Talking to The Daily Star, Prof Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said, "The current day-to-day trend seems a bit slow. We don't know what it would be after the vacation of upcoming Eid-ul-Azha when people's movement is likely to increase."
"People are not wearing masks and following other health rules, including physical distancing. I don't see any reason for the transmission to stop soon," he said.
'NO TESTING FEES FOR THE POOR'
At yesterday's briefing, Prof Nasima said, "Fees will be taken at the sample collection points. Fees will not be taken from the poor patients."
Since the testing began, the government had been doing it free of costs. It, however, started charging people on Monday for what it said was to avoid "unnecessary testing" and ensure better management.
Experts, however, said the move would discourage the poor from getting tested. Thus, the risks of further transmission of the virus would increase.
Prof Nasima also urged people to maintain physical distancing to stay safe from the virus.
About the recovered patients, she said they could rejoin work 14 days after they would stop showing symptoms.
"There don't need to be tested again. We hope everybody will consider this," added the DGHS official.