Experts say that although the overall condition of Covid-19 in the country is satisfactory, there is no scope to be complacent because the situation may worsen again at any time due to new variants of the virus if the hygiene rules are not followed properly.
"There is no relief until the Covid-19 virus is eradicated from the world. The infection was under control for a long time in Vietnam and Malaysia but the infection rate has started to increase there again. People in most countries have not been vaccinated yet so new variants may emerge," said Dr M Mushtuq Husain, an advisor at the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) told The Business Standard.
At present, as the infection is low, a robust surveillance system needs to be introduced. Patients need to be detected, quarantined and isolated. The community must be kept under surveillance in the same way that schools are under surveillance. Ordinary people must be less crowded and wear masks, he recommended.
The positivity rate in the country is below 5% for four consecutive days. New patient identification and mortality have also decreased. As a result, there has been a tendency among people not to follow health guidelines in roads, markets, ceremonies and public transport.
On Saturday, the number of daily cases dropped below 1,000 for the first time in more than four months as the health officials reported 818 new infections. Earlier on 17 May, 698 cases were reported.
In the last 24 hours till 8am Saturday, the country recorded a 4.59% positivity rate after testing 17,818 samples across the country. Meanwhile, 25 more people died of the virus in the last 24 hours.
With the latest figures, the death toll reached 27,393 and the case tally increased to 15,50,371 in the country.
According to the World Health Organisation, Covid-19 infections are considered to be under control if a country's detection rate remains below 5% for more than two consecutive weeks.
The positivity rate in the country was below 5% from 18 January to 8 March. The outbreak appear to be exacerbated during April and intensified in July and August.
Professor Nazrul Islam, a noted virologist and member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 told TBS, "At present, many patients have been suffering from fever caused by various types of viral infections, which has reduced the strength of the Covid-19 virus. If everyone wears a mask and avoids the crowd, the positivity rate will come down to 1%."
Last year the infection in the country was less in winter, which is the same as the previous year. It is necessary to research why the infection in Bangladesh decreases in winter, the virologist added.
Professor Dr Robed Amin, spokesperson, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said Bangladesh is now in a better position as the infection has reached a stable stage, but that does not mean Covid-19 has been eliminated permanently.
According to the Department of Health, on 6 July, the number of newly identified patients in the country exceeded the first 11,000. July was the deadliest every month in the country due to the Delta variant. In July, there were more than 200 daily deaths in 19 days. Infections and deaths have been declining since the last week of August. And the infection rate has come down to less than 5% this month.
So far, 2.38 crore people have received the fast dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh and 1.57 crore have received two doses.
Dr M Mushtuq Husain said people are interested in taking vaccines and many people are eligible to be vaccinated. The problem is the availability of vaccines. So far only 10% of people have been vaccinated. At present, the infection is less so more people need to be vaccinated as soon as possible because the number of death will decrease even if the infection increases again.