As the official coronavirus death toll in the country surged past 1,700 yesterday, experts said the actual figure of death would be much higher had those died with Covid-19 symptoms been taken into account.
Although the overall death rate in Bangladesh is almost similar to other countries, the rate in the elderly population (51 years or above) is higher than in many countries.
With 43 Covid-19 deaths yesterday, the death toll reached 1,738 since the first death on March 18.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday recorded 3,809 new cases of coronavirus infection, taking the tally to 1,37,787.
With this, Bangladesh was the 17th worst affected country in the world.
During yesterday’s briefing, Prof Nasima Sultana, additional director general of DGHS, said the death rate among the confirmed Covid-19 patients was 1.26 percent.
Out of the official number of deaths, at least 861 people died with Covid-19 symptoms, according to the Bangladesh Peace Observatory (BPO) — a project of the Center for Genocide Studies at Dhaka University.
Prof Ridwanur Rahman, a medicine and infectious disease specialist, told this newspaper, “We have no reason to be satisfied thinking the death rate is lower than others. In fact, many deaths are remaining unreported and counting all the cases is beyond our capacity.”
More than 78.62 percent (around 1,366) of those who died of coronavirus were 51 years or above, though only 18 percent (24,801) of the total infected patients were from this age group, according to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
“Deaths among the patients aged between 10 and 20, and 51 and 60 are higher than in many other countries,” said Shafiun Shimul, an associate professor of health economics at DU who help the DGHS to make the projection on Covid-19 trend in the country.
Globally, 495,388 Covid-19 patients have so far died, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Of them, only 2.63 percent were aged between 51 and 60 whereas the death rate of this age group in Bangladesh is 3.30 percent.
Among yesterday’s deceased, 31 were male while 12 were female.
Twenty-one of them were from Dhaka, 10 from Chattogram, two from Rajshahi, three from Khulna, one from Rangpur, three from Sylhet, two from Barishal and one from Mymensingh divisions.
Thirty of the deceased died at hospitals, 12 died at homes and one was declared dead after being taken to the hospital.
Two of them were between 21 and 30 years, one was between 31 and 40, seven between 41 and 50, 13 between 51 and 60, 12 between 61 and 70, seven were 71 and 80 years old and one was between 81 and 90 years.
There are 5,985 beds for Covid-19 patients in the coronavirus hospitals under Dhaka division, Prof Nasima said, adding that the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in the division was 202.
A total of 18,099 samples were tested in 68 labs across the country yesterday.
Meanwhile, 1,409 Covid-19 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours till 2:30pm yesterday and the recovery rate was 40.44 percent.
The total number of recoveries has risen to 55,727.
A total of 717 people were put under isolation while 461 were released from isolation across the country in those 24 hours.