A female activist paints a graffiti depicting the COVID-19 coronavirus during a government-imposed lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Narayanganj on May 18, 2020. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Experts say that Bangladesh may see a peak in COVID-19 infections in the next two weeks. The COVID-19 cases in the country stand at 25,121 with 370 deaths.
The country on May 18 registered 1,602 new infections of COVID-19, with 21 deaths, marking the single day record in the country of around 165 million population.
“Bangladesh may see a peak in COVID-19 cases in next two weeks or so,” said Dr. Bijon Kumar Sil, leader of a Bangladeshi research team at Gonoshasthaya Kendra Hospital that invented a $3 test kit that can detect the coronavirus in less than 15 minutes.
Since the first positive cases of the virus was recorded in the country on March 8, both the cases and deaths have continued to increase manifold.
The total number of positive cases was around 6,000 on May 1. Bangladeshi experts and virologists consider natural herd immunity among a majority of the population as the strongest weapon against the virus.
Dr. Sil said that after getting the final approval from the government about using their indigenous test kit they could begin the rapid testing ant then the number of infections could be reduced accordingly
“Infections can be controlled in two ways: by immediately isolating those who got infected with the virus and those who come into contact with infected persons and locking down the surroundings as well,” he added.
Bangladesh has been under severe lockdown since March 26, however thousands of workers in garment factories violated the restrictions traveling to the capital Dhaka after several factories resumed operations earlier this month.
Dr. A.S.M. Alamgir, chief virologist at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, said that the virus infections might not have crossed 1,000 in Bangladesh if the garment factory owners had not opened their factories in such a way.
The government is working to increase the daily testing capacity to 15,000 soon, said Dr. Nasima Sultana, one of the Director Generals at the country’s health ministry.