New Covid wave imminent
Infections continue to rise08 January 2022
A nurse injects Covid-19 vaccine to an elderly man at a vaccination centre in the capital on Thursday.
Special Correspondent :
Bangladesh is bracing for another wave of Covid infections, as cases rise again.
Government data showed that daily reported cases crossed 1,000 on Thursday amid a new surge in the virus infections.
Besides, the country logged 1,146 fresh cases in 24 hours till Friday morning, the highest single day infection since September 29. With the detection of fresh cases after testing 20,890 samples, the daily-case positivity rate rose to 5.67 per cent from Thursday's 4.86 per cent during the period, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
On September 29 last year, the DGHS reported 1187 Covid-19 cases and the lowest 151 cases had been reported on November 13.
On Janury 1 this year, DGHS reported 370 Covid-19 cases. The caseload was 557 on January 2.
Besides, the DGHS reported 674 cases on January 3, the caseload was 775 on January 4, it was 829 on January 5 and 1140 on January 6.
Public health experts said that the daily coronavirus cases continue to rise as Covid safety protocol is not being maintained anywhere in the country. During this winter season,
all kinds of social events are taking place frequently with pressence of huge crowd. Besides, the Eclection Comission is holding Union Parishad elections across the country. Thounsands of people have been attending meetings, rallies and processions without maintaining health guidelines. As a result, coronavirus detection rate in the country has been on the rise again.
"There is no health rules anywhere and people are reluctant to maintain health guidelines. No one in town or village is wearing a mask. Even, people are taking meals at hotels and restaurants and large crowds are attending social functions without maintaining health protocol. All these are sparking Covid-19 infection afresh," Dr Mushtaq Hussain, Adviser to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) told the New Nation.
The public health expert issued a warning that a fresh wave is inevitable unless "adequate measures" are being taken as soon as possible. "Another wave of corona is imminent by March-April. It may may come even earlier if people continue to violate the health rules," he warned.
Dr Mushtaq, former Chief Scientific Officer of the IEDCR, mentioned that the third Covid wave hit Bnagladesh in April last year with the Delta variant. The second wave was done with alpha-beta. The infection rate dropped in the middle. But it did not come down to zero. "So, I'm not fearing for the third, but for the fourth wave".
Professor Dr Iqbal Arslan, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said, "We will witness another wave of infection very soon as people are not complying with health rules and social distancing protocol".
He added, "People have masks to cover their noses and mouths. But they keep it either in the chin, or in the bag. And if the mask is not in the place, then the virus will enter in human body."
He, however, said Bangladesh can avoid the possible wave by intensifying Covid control measures including stringent screening at ports, forcing people to maintain health guidelines and wear masks and boosting the vaccination drive.
Economic analysts cautioned that a new wave may have a disastrous impact on Bangladesh economy, which already took an enormous hit during the last wave. Millions of small businesses were forced to close and a harsh lockdown brought economic activity to a near standstill.