Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said that the Covid-19 will “leave the country on its own”, when 34 more Covid-19 patients died and 2,644 people tested positive for the virus yesterday.
“Whether the vaccine comes or not, coronavirus will leave the country,” the health minister said at a National Mourning Day event at the Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons in the capital.
“We are happy that the death rate and Covid-19 infection rate have decreased in the country,” the minister also said, adding, “People are getting treatment at home, they do not need to come to hospitals. As a result, there are fewer patients in hospitals.”
Earlier in the morning, at another national mourning day event in Manikganj, the minister said the decision to import vaccines will be made in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“There are attempts to invent vaccines in many countries… The final decision on how people will get vaccines will be taken in a discussion with the prime minister,” Zahid Maleque said at the event in Manikganj Sadar upazila.
Earlier, on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the cabinet purchase committee meeting, the health minister had said the decision on running a trial of a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine in the country may come next week.
During yesterday’s speech, the minister claimed the transmission and death rates are slowly sloping down: “This is the contribution of the health service.”
Experts, however, say transmission — based on the day-to-day positivity rate — is actually on the rise.
Recently, a study revealed that nine percent of Dhaka city dwellers have already been infected with coronavirus with 78 percent of them having no symptoms.
The study, jointly conducted by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) indicates that many undetected carriers have been spreading the virus, experts said.
“The study proves the number of infected people is more than what we thought. The transmission is going on extensively in an unknown and uncontrolled way,” Prof Ridwanur Rahman, an infectious disease specialist, told The Daily Star recently.
Meanwhile, the positivity rate continued to hover over 20 percent for the second consecutive day yesterday. On Thursday, it had dipped down to 19.88 percent, for the first time during the past month.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), a total of 12,891 samples were tested at 87 labs across the country in 24 hours between Friday and yesterday morning.
The positivity rate of Covid-19 cases was 20.51 percent yesterday — this figure was 21.52 percent the previous day.
The fresh cases bring the total number of positive cases so far in the country to 2,74,525.
The total number of recoveries currently stands at 1,57,635 — with 1,012 patients recovering in the last 24 hours — a recovery rate of around 57 percent.
With yesterday’s deaths, the death toll rose to 3,625 — around 1.32 percent of all confirmed cases.
Among yesterday’s deceased, 24 were male and 10 female; one was aged between 31-40 years, two between 41-50 years, nine between 51-60 years, and the rest 22 above 60 years of age.
16 of yesterday’s deceased were from Dhaka division, with seven each from Chattogram and Khulna, one each from Rangpur and Rajshahi, and two from Sylhet division.