Surge in new cases as virus tests go up

The health department needs to ramp up coronavirus testing to identify the maximum number of possible cases as records show that conducting more tests results in detection of more new Covid-19 cases.

Analysing the data of the last 14 days, it has been found that more new cases are recorded only on those days when the number of tests goes up.

A total of 239,883 samples were tested for Covid-19 between June 11 and 25. Of them, 51,741 samples tested positive.

On each of the days of June 16, 17 and 25, the number of samples tested was above 17,000 and the number of those tested positive for Covid-19 was above 3,800.

On the contrary, the lowest number of tests in the last 14 days was carried out on June 14 and 20 — 14,505 and 14,031.

The numbers of newly identified cases were also lower on those days — 3,141 and 3,240 respectively.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), as many as 17,999 tests were conducted in 66 labs across the country in 24 hours till 2:30pm yesterday. This was the highest number of tests carried out in same duration in the last 14 days.

Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general (administration) of DGHS, yesterday said 3,946 new Covid-19 cases was identified in the 24-hour period.

With this, the total number of novel coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 126,606.

In the 24-hour period, another 39 people have died from the virus. The death toll now is 1,621.

Among the deceased were 32 men and seven women. They were 10 each from Dhaka and Chattogram divisions, five each from Rajshahi and Khulna, three from Mymensingh, two from Barishal and four from Rangpur division.

Two of the dead were aged between 21 and 30, one was between 31 and 40, seven were between 41 and 50, nine between 51 and 60, 12 between 61 and 70, seven between 71 and 80 and another was aged between 91 and 100, Nasima added.

A total of 1,829 Covid-19 patients recovered during the same period, she said, adding that 51,495 people recovered from the deadly disease so far.

Speaking to The Daily Star, experts recently said the country’s testing capacity was still quite insufficient against its huge population.

“The current number of daily tests is poor. We have to take the number to 50,000,” said IEDCR consultant and epidemiologist Mushtuq Husain.

Prof Shahid Ullah, chief of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said there should be at least 20,000 tests per day now.


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