New COVID-19 cases and deaths from the disease may have fallen, but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has alerted all to the dangers the coronavirus poses in winter.
“Coronavirus is reappearing in all the countries of the world as winter approaches,” she said at an event on Thursday. “Its prevalence has increased in the US, England and several European countries. So I request all in Bangladesh to be alert.”
She joined the programme at her office via video conferencing from the Ganabhaban as the government reported no new deaths from COVID-19 in six out of eight divisions in the latest daily count.
The highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus drove infections and deaths up, setting new records, across Bangladesh after March.
July saw the highest number of infections with the government logging 336,226 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at an average of 10,846 infections a day. The figure dropped to 251,134 in August.
The government confirmed 57,814 COVID-19 cases and 1,389 deaths from the disease between Aug 30 and Sept 26.
The numbers fell to 16,345 cases and 409 deaths between Sept 27 and Oct 24, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.
While the recent downtrend is a cause for relief, experts warned that another upturn in infections could happen anytime. Therefore, it is imperative that the population continues to comply with health protocols and other safety measures, they said.
Hasina also said people should stop being complacent and follow the health rules to avert another wave of coronavirus infections.
She advised the people to eat more food that contains vitamin C and take precautions to prevent a bout of cold.
Experts say a rise in coronavirus infections during winter may complicate the situation as the common winter disease, such as cough and cold, are also the symptoms of COVID-19.
Hasina hoped the situation will improve further in Bangladesh with the continuation of the vaccination drive against the coronavirus. She also hoped all eligible citizens will get vaccinated by mid-2022.
The prime minister noted that the government planned to administer the second dose of coronavirus vaccine to more than 8 million people on Thursday. Students are also being vaccinated.
She reminded the people of the necessity to follow the health rules even after vaccination. Vaccinated people, who may develop milder symptoms after contracting COVID-19, can spread the disease if they do not wear a mask and keep physical distancing.
At the event, 37 banks donated over 2.6 million blankets and Tk 1 million to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. Nazrul Islam Mazumder, chairman of the Bangladesh Association of Banks, was present among others.