Dhaka, Jun 27 (PTI) Bangladesh on Sunday reported 119 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the pandemic began, as the government prepares for an all-out lockdown from July 1 to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
'A total of 119 people died of COVID-19 in the country in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 14,172,' the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said in a statement.
The new hotspot Khulna reported 32 deaths, the highest among the eight divisions, followed by Dhaka with 24 deaths. Chittagong and Rajshahi divisions counted 22 deaths each while Rangpur 9, Sylhet 5, Mymensingh, 3 and Barisal 2.
The new record surpassed the previous high of 112 on April 19 this year.
The DGHS said that during the last 24 hours, 5,268 new COVID-19 cases were reported, taking the total number of people infected with the virus to 888,406.
'Follow the health guidelines. This is my special request to you,' Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Sunday. 'We want cooperation from all.' Bangladesh on Friday announced a strict countrywide shutdown until further notice to check the spread of COVID-19.
According to the health officials, the deadly Delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India, has spread to Dhaka, mounting pressure on health facilities in the country's capital.
A Cabinet division spokesman said the countrywide shutdown would be a 'complete lockdown'.
He said the official engagements due to Bangladesh's fiscal year ending on June 30 prompted the government to defer the shutdown till the end of the month as it was planned to be enforced on June 28 but the public transport systems would be closed across the country from Monday.
The National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on COVID-19 had recommended 'a complete nationwide shutdown' for 14 days in the face of a deepening health crisis.
Head of the committee Prof Mohammad Sahidullah said the suggested the 'complete shutdown' which meant 'all should stay home. Everything will be closed except for emergency services'.
Bangladesh is experiencing an increase in the COVID-19 infection rate, with the latest report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) noting that out of the country’s 64 administrative districts 43 were at “very high risk” while 15 others, including Dhaka, were at “high risk”.
The northern and southwestern regions bordering India have also reported cases of Delta variant.
The country’s biggest state-run health facility, Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), said 80 per cent of their COVID-19 patients were residents of the capital city and the number is increasing every day. PTI AR ZH ZH