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2nd wave of COVID-19 hits Bangladesh

Health minister says government is yet to make decision on imposing lockdown

SM Najmus Sakib   | 23.09.2020
2nd wave of COVID-19 hits Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh

The second wave of coronavirus has hit Bangladesh and the health department has taken necessary steps to tackle the pandemic, the country's health minister said on Wednesday. 

Speaking at an event in the capital Dhaka, Zahid Maleque said: "The second wave of coronavirus infection has started in the country and the health department, including doctors and nurses, have taken necessary measures up to the local level to deal with it."

The government is yet to make a decision on imposing a lockdown, local TV Channel 24 quoted the minister as saying.

Experts, however, think infections can grow if people ignore health guidelines. In winter, people in the South Asian country gather more in social events.

Prominent virologist Mustaq Hossain told Anadolu Agency that still there is no scientific definition of the second wave of coronavirus, except that the infection comes down to a minimum level and then raises again.

"And, when the daily infection comes down to 5% or below 10% then we could say the infection came down. In Bangladesh, we see the infection is continuing and it is not below 10% yet, and there is no relation between summer or winter and coronavirus," he said.

But in winter, there are more traditional gatherings and social events which we need to control otherwise the infections could rise further, he warned.

Dr. Mohiuddin A. Khan, a hematologist and member of National Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19, echoed Hossain's fears.

Concerned over people's reluctance to abide by safety guidelines set by the government, he told Anadolu Agency that "asymptomatic patients are on the rise and infections can further spread in winter."

On Monday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed her administration to prepare in advance for the second wave that could hit the country in winter.

Bangladesh on Wednesday registered 37 more deaths and 1,666 fresh cases of COVID-19, taking the death total to 5,044 and infections to 352,287. Recovery rate stands at 74.31%, latest government data showed.

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