Leading UK-based international weekly The Economist in a report claimed that the real number of coronavirus infected people are much higher than the official figures showed in Bangladesh and other countries of the South Asian region.
In a report titled, ‘Infections are rising fast in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan’ and published on June 4, the magazine said that low levels of testing mean that the real numbers could be far worse.
According to the Economist, ‘John Clemens of ICDDRB (formerly the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh), estimates that Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, may already have as many as 750,000 cases.’
Bangladesh government, however, recorded 60,391 cases of coronavirus until Friday, with nearly half of the cases in Dhaka.
The death toll in the country hit 811 with 30 deaths recorded in 24 hours until 8:00 am Friday.
Pointing out the easing lockdown in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan in the past week, the magazine said it will ‘bring relief to the region’s battered economies,’ but ‘promises no relief from the pandemic itself.’
‘In luckier countries, stay-at-home rules reduced the number of new infections. In South Asia they managed only to moderate the disease’s acceleration, but not to halt it (see chart). The lifting of the lockdowns, in turn, is likely to hasten its spread again,’ said the report.
‘With some 350,000 confirmed cases and fewer than 9,000 deaths so far, the region’s toll looks relatively modest. Yet those numbers disguise both widespread undercounting and a rate of growth that was frightening even before the lifting of restrictions,’ it added.