Dhaka, Apr 1 (PTI) Bangladesh on Thursday reported 6,469 COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since its outbreak in the country on March 8 last year, taking the tally of infections to 617,764.
The death toll climbed to 9,105 after 59 fatalities were registered on Thursday, according to data released by the government.
The 59 deaths were second highest in terms of fatality since June 30 last year when the virus killed 64 people, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said in a statement.
The DGHS said 40 out of the 59 died in central Dhaka division alone.
The surge in coronavirus cases prompted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to issue a clarion call in Parliament, seeking optimum precautions by individuals in containing the spread of the coronavirus, which she called 'unimaginable'.
“We have to bring the situation under control (and) We are trying to bring the virus under control . . . But, assistance from the people is necessary to contain it,” she said, insisting people to follow health guidelines.
The premier blasted a tendency to defy health rules in recent period despite repeated calls as people visibly preferred not to wear masks as the infection rate came down in past two months.
DGHS said the country registered over 5,000 COVID-19 cases for the third consecutive day as 5,181 cases were recorded on March 29, 5,082 on March 30 and 5,358 on March 31.
The DGHS report came four days after Bangladesh ordered physical office attendance to be reduced by 50 per cent under a 18-point directive as the coronavirus pandemic reappeared with an intensified wrath.
The order simultaneously asked mass-transport systems and restaurants to keep 50 per cent seats vacant and ban transport services in high-risk areas in required cases and restrict all religious, social, political and other gatherings.
Bangladesh on Thursday also imposed a 16-day ban from July 3 on entry of passengers from all European nations except the United Kingdom and 12 other countries to check the new spike of coronavirus cases.
The 12 other countries are Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Qatar, South Africa, Turkey and Uruguay, The DGHS statement said 22.94 per cent of the 28,198 samples collected in 24 hours were tested positive while the infection rate was only 2.30 per cent just on February 8 this year as during the late winter season, the rate started decreasing sharply.
DGHS said the situation prompted them to increase the number of testing facilities again gradually while the samples were tested at 226 authorised medical laboratories across the country during the past 24 hours.
The DGHS statistics showed of the people infected from the beginning, 88.21 per cent recovered while 1.47 per cent died.
According to month-wise statistics last year, 51 COVID-19 positive cases were detected in March 2020, 7616 in April, 39,486 in May, 98,330 in June, 92,178 in July, 75,335 in August, 50,483 in September, 44, 205 in October, 57,248 in November and 48,578 in December.
The beginning of the current year witnessed a drastic fall of coronavirus cases in the country but the trend lasted for only two months -- 21,629 cases were detected in January and 11,077 in February.
The month of entire march witnessed sharp increase of infection when the virus infected 65,079 people. PTI AR PMS