Bangladesh sees record single-day cases of COVID-19

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Dhaka, Jul 6 (PTI) Bangladesh on Tuesday registered its highest-ever single-day COVID-19 cases as the infection rate rose to 31.46 per cent despite a nationwide lockdown.

A day after reporting a record 164 deaths and 9,964 infections, the country recorded 11,525 fresh COVID-19 cases and 163 deaths in the past one-day, a Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) spokesman said.

According to the official data, the infection rate overnight rose by 2.16 which was 29.30 per cent on Monday, meaning the infection rate rose gradually against the number of people who are tested.

The contagion has so far killed 15,392 people and infected 9,66,406 in the country.

'The surge of patients continued to rise and half of them are reporting with critical condition… the patients are dying despite our maximum efforts,' a doctor at a state-run hospital told a private television channel.

Southwestern Khulna, bordering India's West Bengal, appeared to be the worst-affected region in terms of infection rate and death toll followed by central Dhaka, but health officials said that community infection continued to spread fast across the country.

'Fifty per cent of patients were found in rural areas that rules out a general perception that cities are more exposed to the pandemic,” a DGHS official said, while an official study attributed 80 per cent of the infection cases to the Delta variant.

The deteriorating situation forced the government to extend the nationwide shutdown until July 14 while it was initially imposed for a week.

The government order asking people to stay indoors largely appeared futile as the sixth day of the shutdown saw more crowds and vehicles on Dhaka streets, prompting authorities to deploy extra number of Army troops to enforce the lockdown.

'We are struggling to enforce the restrictions… people are coming up with a variety of excuses,' a police official at a city checkpoint said as queues of vehicles became longer even as military troops and policemen enquired about the reasons forcing people to come out of their homes.

The official said that family elders or guardians must take a role in keeping people indoors. PTI AR CPS

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