Bangladesh on Thursday topped Italy in COVID-19 cases, tallying 2,49,651 patients, as the infections continued to spread.
The first three COVID-19 cases, two Bangladeshi expatriates in Italy and one of their family members, were reported on March 8 while Italy reported their first case on January 31.
‘With the detection of 2,977 new infections, the number of COVID-19 patients reached 2,49,651,’ said National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine director Baizid Khoorshid Riaz.
Besides, 39 more patients died, taking the death toll to 3,306 in the country, he said in the daily online bulletin on the COVID-19 situation on Thursday.
Italy is one of the worst coronavirus-hit countries, with 248,803 cases and 35,181 deaths.
Although the death toll in Italy is much higher than Bangladesh, they have almost recovered from their worst situation.
The country has now only around 12,000 active cases whereas Bangladesh has 102,521 as of August 6. On the day, Italy had 41 critical cases while Bangladesh had 292 COVID-19 patients at ICUs.
Bangladesh also lagged far behind Italy in terms of testing COVID-19.
COVID-19 tests per million population in Italy is 1,16,472 whereas in Bangladesh it is 7,432 tests per million.
Bangladesh is now on the 15th position in terms of COVID-19 cases, but it sits on 154th position in terms of tests per million population.
In the past 24 hours ending 8:00am, 12,708 coronavirus samples were tested across the country of more than 160 million people.
The rate of infections in Bangladesh has also increased in recent days.
The average rate of infection in the current week, 22nd week of infections, is 24.78 per cent while it was 22.21 per cent in 21st week, and 22.81 per cent in the 19th week.
The rate of infections has increased since the beginning of August as public movement has increased on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest festival in the Muslim majority country.
The overall rate of infections stood now at 20.38 per cent, which makes Bangladesh one of the top 10 countries with a higher rate of COVID-19 infections.
Dr Baizid in the bulletin said that among the 39 new deaths, nine died at homes.
The deaths of COVID-19 patients at homes also continued every day as at least 555 patients died at homes and 31 died on way to hospitals since May 17.
Baizid said that 2,074 new COVID-19 patients recovered from their infection in the past 24 hours, totaling the number of recoveries to 1,43,824.