This rush will only worsen Covid surge
With the health directorate reporting 14,844 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the infections will spread even more as garment factory workers rush to the capital from across the country.
"Workers from different parts of the country have joined their workplaces as garment factories reopened today [Sunday]. They did not follow the health safety rules. As a result, the coronavirus infections will rise further," he told reporters after an event in the capital.
Echoing him, Obaidul Quader, road transport and bridges minister and also Awami League general secretary, said the business leaders did not keep their promise as the garment workers had to join work en masse.
"This was not the promise [that the business leaders made] to the government. For this, the coronavirus infections will turn disastrous and the infections and death rates will rise further," Quader told journalists at his residence in the capital.
The country is struggling to break the transmission chain of the Delta variant of coronavirus.
In the 24 hours preceding 8:00am yesterday, officials reported 231 deaths from Covid-19 across the country, raising the number of fatalities to 20,916, says a press release of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
With this, the death rate stood at 1.65 percent.
In 49,529 samples tested in those 24 hours, the positivity rate was 29.97 percent.
Of those reported dead yesterday, 139 were men and 92 women. Seventy-seven of them died in Dhaka, 53 in Chattogram, 44 in Khulna, 18 in Rangpur, 13 in Rajshahi, 11 in Mymensingh, nine in Sylhet, and six in Barishal divisions.
The positivity rate has consistently been over 30 percent in 53 districts for seven days until Thursday. Of those districts, the positivity rate is over 40 percent in 29, according to the DGHS data.
Many hospitals have been struggling to deal with the sheer number of Covid-19 patients.
As of yesterday noon, 89 percent of the ICU beds in Covid-19 dedicated hospitals were occupied, while the occupancy rate of the High Dependency Unit beds was 87 percent and 62 percent of the general beds were occupied.
There are 1,521 ICU beds, 1,039 HDU beds and 22,224 general beds for Covid-19 patients at hospitals across the country.
On May 8 this year, the Delta variant was first detected in the country. The variant eventually spread in communities across the country.