Bangladesh reported its highest single-day COVID-19 tally on Wednesday, with 7,626 more cases detected over the past 24 hours, according to the latest government update.
The country also saw 63 more fatalities, the third-highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic.
The new cases pushed the overall count to 659,278, including 9,447 fatalities and 561,639 recoveries, the latest data showed.
A total of 34,630 samples were tested in the country in the past day, taking the cumulative total to over 4.88 million.
Despite the alarming surge in infections, protests against a nationwide week-long lockdown that started on Monday continued in the country on Wednesday.
Traders, including roadside vendors, blocked roads in different parts of the capital Dhaka, calling on the government to lift restrictions that they say would cause them financial losses before the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Clashes between protesters and police were reported in the densely populated Gulistan neighborhood, while demonstrations in the Maghbazar, New Market, and Mohakhali areas remained peaceful.
Shop owners also formed human chains outside shopping malls in Dhaka, seeking permission to resume operations with strict implementation of COVID-19 rules.
Hundreds of bikers working through ride-sharing apps also blocked roads in various parts of the capital in protest against a two-week ban on the services.
Noted singer dies of COVID-19
Popular Bangladeshi singer Indramohan Rajbongshi died of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Born in Dhaka in 1952, he was a recipient of the country’s second-highest civilian award, the Ekushey Padak.
The 69-year-old was reputed as a versatile singer and researcher with expertise in various fields of classical and folk music.
Rajbongshi also worked as an artist at the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra – Free Bengal Radio Center – during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War.