Dhaka, Thursday

28 October 2021

Business Insider Bangladesh

Covid cases may spike in Nov due to apathy of people towards health guidelines: Experts

Ainul Haque Royal || BusinessInsider

Published: 15:38, 28 September 2021   Update: 18:06, 28 September 2021
Covid cases may spike in Nov due to apathy of people towards health guidelines: Experts

Representational Image. UNB File Photo.

The coronavirus cases may increase in November or December in the country if the people fall short of maintaining Covid-19 health guidelines properly, warned health experts.

“The current decline in Covid-19 cases is the outcome of our nationwide lockdown before and after the Eid-ul Azha. It may again increase if we don’t maintain the health guidelines properly,” said Prof Mohammad Shahidullah, chair of the National Advisory Committee on Covid-19.

He said the government has so far been able to inject first doses of the coronavirus vaccine to some 2.50 crore people and the second doses to 1.50 crore people across the country.

“Now, we are going to vaccinate around 75 lakh people in a single day on Tuesday marking the 75th birth anniversary of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. And, if we can strengthen the vaccination campaign and compel people to maintain health guidelines, the infection rate will further decline in the coming days,” he told old the Business Insider Bangladesh, on Monday.

Responding to a query he said people are seen reluctant to follow the health guidelines everywhere in the country and many people are seen moving without face masks while some are wearing mask improperly which is a big concern for keeping the situation under control.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the daily case positivity rate should remain at 5 percent or below for 14 days in a row before mass unlocking.

A good number of people are maintaining health guidelines alongside the ongoing vaccination programme which could be attributed to declining Covid-19 cases, said Prof Muzaherul Huq, former adviser, South-East Asia region of the World Health Organization (WHO), and founder, Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the government has reopened schools and colleges which may cause to spike the infection rate once again, he said while talking to the Business Insider Bangladesh.

“It is then the spate of infection of the virus may push us towards the third wave. At present, we are witnessing below five percent infection rate and we will enter the third wave if the infection rate increases more than five percent again,” he explained.

To improve the situation, the government should come up with a collective measures involving public representatives, leaders and activists from different sectors including business, transport, education and so on, he said.

“The government should hold people within these sectors responsible and accountable in carrying out the health guidelines properly, otherwise, we will be pushed towards the third wave,” he said.

Before lifting the lockdown, the government had called upon the people in every sector to adhere to the health rules but did not take any punitive action against the violators and such inaction might have encouraged people to ignore the health protocols, he said.

Time is still there for the government to come up with pragmatic steps otherwise the situation may go out of control again, the expert warned.

Bangladesh saw a slight spike in death and infection of coronavirus, as the health authorities counted 25 more deaths and 1,212 new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours until Monday morning.

The daily positivity rate of the virus stood at 4.36 percent recovery rate at 97.43 percent and the death rate remained static at 1.77 percent for few days.

Amid such a situation, Bangladesh is going to receive 25 lakh more doses of Pfizer vaccine under COVAX facility in the early hours of Tuesday.

Bangladesh received some 100,620 doses of vaccine in the first phase and 10,03,860 doses in the second phase under the COVAX facility programme.

With the latest 25 lakh, Bangladesh's total count of Pfizer vaccine will be 360,4,480 doses under the COVAX facility programme, according to a press release.

On September 18, Bangladesh received some 50 lakh doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. Besides, 54 lakh doses of the Chinese Covid vaccine arrived in Bangladesh on September 11.

At present, around 1.50 crore doses of vaccine are stored and with the doses, the government is going to vaccinate around 75 lakh people in a single day on Tuesday marking the 75th birth anniversary of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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