COVID-19 deaths on the rise, again
by Sumon Corraya

A new surge in coronavirus cases and deaths hits the country with 9.48 per cent positive tests yesterday. The mortality rate is back to the level of early January. The Health Minister wants to crack down on people who do not wear masks. Schools are set to reopen on 30 March.


Dhaka (AsiaNews) – The number of infections from the coronavirus is rising again in Bangladesh, reaching the highest level of the last three months.

Yesterday, 18,695 people were tested in 219 laboratories with 1,773 new cases and a positivity rate of 9.48 per cent.

Mortality is also up. According to the Directorate General for Health Services (DGHS), the data updated to Monday morning (15 March) indicate 26 people died from COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, up from 18 on 13 March and 12 the day before.

According to health authorities, such a high number of deaths had not been recorded since 7 January, when 31 people died in a single day from the disease.

While the health emergency remains in place, the government had announced that schools would reponed on 30 March.

The worsening situation has now prompted the authorities to order legal action against those who do not comply with the obligation to wear a mask.

“We’ve ordered the authorities concerned to take legal measures, including mobile court operations and fining those who violate the mask-use rule,” said Health Minister Zahid Maleque.

“District committees have been asked in writing to ensure that people follow health guidelines or they will take legal actions against the violators if needed.”

Doctors attribute the new jump in cases to the lack of awareness about the risks of COVID-19.

For Dr Mohammad Shahidullah, convener of the National Advisory Committee on Coronavirus,“ wearing face mask, maintaining social distance and other health practices are not being followed properly so coronavirus infections have increased.”

Professor Nasima Sultama, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Health, agrees. “People are visiting tourist spots without any fear of coronavirus. Social events like weddings have increased. People are not following social distance and health rules.”

People who have been vaccinated also seem unconcerned about the virus. As of Monday (15 March), 559,168 cases of infection have been reported in the country. About 513,127 recovered but 8,571 people lost their lives.