Bangladesh registers record 153 COVID-19 deaths

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Dhaka, Jul 4 (PTI) Bangladesh on Sunday reported 153 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the pandemic began, as health officials warned that the high infection rate could create a shortage of medical oxygen supply.

'The COVID-19 claimed 153 deaths in the 24 hours, taking the total number of death to 15,065,' Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) spokesman Nazmul Islam said.

The new record surpassed the previous high of 143 on Thursday.

The new hotspot northwestern Khulna reported 51 deaths, the highest among the eight divisions, followed by Dhaka with 46 deaths, Chittagong and Rajshahi divisions with 15 deaths each and Rangpur 12.

The COVID-19 caseload surged to 944,917 after 8,661 people tested positive for the virus until Sunday morning, according to the latest government data.

The DGHS official said that the number of patients reported during the week increased by 51 per cent as compared to the data of the previous week while the 'fatalities have risen by 46 percent in the same period”.

The new surge of the Delta variant of the virus overnight increased the infection rate to 28.99 per cent despite a strict nationwide shutdown, being enforced by army and paramilitary troops and regular police forces.

According to DGHS, out of the 64 administrative districts, 40 across Bangladesh are detected to be at 'high risk' though at the beginning of the new surge last month the districts bordering India were found to be high infection areas.

Islam said that currently there was no crisis in oxygen production and supply but warned that if the number of coronavirus patients keep rising, Bangladesh may face a shortage of medical oxygen supply.

However, some media reports suggested that several COVID-19 victims died due to delayed supply of oxygen cylinders particularly in some hospitals in southwestern Khulna region in the past few days.

The DGHS spokesman said an inquiry has been ordered into allegations.

Last week, the ordered a 'strict countrywide restriction' which the media dubbed as 'shutdown' from 6 am on July 1 to midnight on July 7, in an effort to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of the virus, which was first identified in India. PTI AR ZH ZH

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