At a time when the rate of Covid-19 cases is on the rise in the country, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the number of new cases and deaths decreased.
"Patients are not coming for tests as they are getting well by taking treatment at home. One kind of confidence has grown among people in fighting coronavirus," the minister said while addressing a programme marking World Breast Feeding Week at the ministry yesterday.
Mentioning there is no crisis of Covid-19 testing kits, he said that the number of tests has decreased a bit due to the flood situation and people's unwillingness to get tested.
"You have noticed the death rate has decreased slowly… [Around] 90 percent patients are taking treatment at home and are not coming to hospitals unless they become critically ill. As a result, 60 percent beds [in Covid-19 hospitals] are lying vacant," the minister said.
Meanwhile, in the regular briefing, Prof Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said 2,487 people tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday.
This number is around 23.12 percent of all the 10,759 people tested in the past 24 hours till 8:30am yesterday.
In the previous day, this percentage was 22.25 which indicates a rise in infection, according to experts.
With yesterday's figure, the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 rose to 257,600.
"The minister's claim is not logical, because we have not enough information available to support it. From epidemiological perspective, there is no reason for decreasing the infection, rather it is on the rise," Prof Ridwanur Rahman, an infectious disease specialist, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Referring to the global standards, he said when the positivity rate will come down to five percent it can be said there there is very few undetected cases left and the transmission is under control.
Meanwhile, a total of 34 Covid-19 patients have died in the same 24 hours yesterday, taking the death toll to 3,399. This is around 1.32 percent of all confirmed cases.
In the meantime, around 57.47 percent of all confirmed patients have recovered from their illness.
Of the yesterday's deceased, 31 were males and three were females.
Of them, 32 died in hospitals and two died at their homes, according to the DGHS.
Of the dead, one was aged between 21 and 30, four between 31 and 40, five between 41 and 50, six between 51 and 60 while rest 18 were over 60 years.
Fourteen of the yesterday's deceased were from Dhaka, six from Chattogram, four from Rajshahi, seven from Khulna, two from Barishal and one from Mymensingh divisions.
So far, the highest -- around 48 percent -- number of deceased were from Dhaka division followed by 23.65 percent in Chattogram division.