Bangladesh registered the highest COVID-19 deaths and infections on Tuesday with 66 more people succumbing to coronavirus, taking the nation-wide tally to 6,51,652, according to the health authorities.
Since March 8 last year, Bangladesh has recorded 9,384 COVID-19 deaths and 651,652 infection cases.
"The tally of infections has surged to 6,51,652 as 7,213 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours . . . 66 people died of COVID-19 during the period, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.
The data showed 54 out of the 66 died in Dhaka division alone and 39 of them were men while 27 were women, it said.
A total of 21.02 per cent of the 34,311 samples collected in the past one day were tested positive while the lowest infection rate was 2.30 per cent, recorded on February 8 this year, it added.
A health ministry spokesman said the figures were highest in terms of both fatality and infection in a single day since the COVID-19 outbreak on March 8 last year, asserting the hospitals across the country have exhausted their capacity.
"We will not have any room in hospitals to set up an extra bed as we are adding overnight 1,200 extra beds to treat coronavirus patients," health minister Zahid Maleque said, asking people to stay indoors as much as possible.
He said the government-run hospitals have 5,000 beds and the work was underway to set up another 1,200 beds, while the private facilities have 1,000 beds for the coronavirus patients.
Maleque warned that the situation may go out of control soon, unless the existing lockdown was strictly enforced.
Bangladesh had previously recorded the highest 64 deaths on June 30 last year.
The health minister's comments came as the lockdown enforced two days ago appeared to have impacted little in restricting people while protests are underway to keep the open the shops, forcing police to use gunshots and resulting in death of one protester.
Bangladesh enforced a seven-day nationwide lockdown on Monday when health officials recorded 58 coronavirus deaths and 5,683 fresh infection cases overnight, the third highest in terms of both fatality and infection since the outbreak of the pandemic.
All domestic buses, ferries, trains and flights were suspended and shops and malls have been shut under the lockdown while the government earlier this week ordered the public and private offices to operate with 50 per cent workforce.
However, the government on Tuesday decided to resume public transport services in major cities from Wednesday with road transport minister Obaidul Quader saying the restriction on transport movement was eased considering the people's "immense difficulties".
"The public transport, however, will have to keep 50 per cent seats vacant," he said.
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