Health officials reported 78 deaths from Covid-19 yesterday, the highest in a day since the first three cases of coronavirus were detected last year.
Despite this, Bangladesh has so far done 30 tests per 1,000 people, the lowest even among the South Asian countries. The Maldives has done 1,236 tests per 1,000, according to the ourworldindata.org.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday reported 5,819 confirmed cases, after testing 29,376 samples.
Experts say the number of daily tests should more than double, considering the positivity rate. Otherwise, the "lockdown" will not be of much benefit.
So far, 68,4756 people tested positive for the virus in Bangladesh.
"The number of daily tests should be raised until the positivity rate falls below 7 or 6 percent. The number of tests should be more than doubled if we are to detect and isolate the hidden cases," Mushtuq Hussain, consultant of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told The Daily Star.
The positivity rate reported yesterday was 19.81 percent.
This high level of positive rate means that there are many more undetected individuals, who are unknowingly spreading the infection, he added.
Among the other South Asian countries, Bhutan is in the second position with 835 tests per 1,000 people, India third with 184, Sri Lanka fourth with 113, Nepal fifth with 79, and Pakistan sixth with 48 tests.
United Arab Emirates is on top of the list with 4,022 tests followed by Denmark with 3,954 against per 1,000 people. The USA has done 1,163 tests and the UK 1,912 against per 1,000 people, according to the ourworldindata.org.
Bangladesh started witnessing the second spike in daily new cases in the second week of March. The positivity rate rose to 23 percent last week.
As of yesterday, the total reported death toll was 9,739, which is 1.42 percent of all confirmed cases in the country.
Of those reported dead yesterday, 53 were men and 25 women. One of them was dead by the time she was taken to a hospital. The rest died at different hospitals across the country. Forty-seven of them died in Dhaka and 20 in Chattogram divisions.
The demand for ICU beds in the hospitals treating Covid-19 patients was still on the rise yesterday, the DGHS said.
At noon yesterday, only three out of 132 ICU beds in the 10 public hospitals for Covid-19 in Dhaka city were available. Of the 2,786 general beds at these hospitals, 311 were available.
At the nine private Covid-dedicated hospitals in Dhaka, only seven out of 377 ICU beds were empty. In Chattogram, 25 out of 51 ICU beds were vacant at seven public and private hospitals, according to the DGHS.