By Md. Kamruzzaman

Bangladesh registered its highest-ever daily spike in coronavirus cases and fatalities Monday as the country observed a stricter nationwide lockdown following the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, which was marked by violations of COVID-19 restrictions due to a rush of homebound people.

The South Asian nation registered 15,192 fresh cases and 247 new deaths, the most since the virus first hit the country in March last year, according to the latest official data.

The latest numbers pushed the country’s cases to nearly 1.18 million and death toll to 19,521 though more than 1 million people have also recovered so far.

The previous highest daily cases and deaths were also reported this month, at 13,798 and 231 respectively.

To stem the spread of virus, the country as part of its ongoing vaccination drive has administered nearly 222,000 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours and more than 12 million shots to date, including first and second doses.

Amid the alarming spike nationwide in the virus with the presence of the Delta variant, Bangladesh has also recorded one more Rohingya death from COVID-19 in its refugee camps in the southern district of Cox’s Bazar.

The latest figure takes the total number of Rohingya deaths in the world’s largest refugee settlements to 27 while 12 more cases have pushed overall infections to 2,355.

Bangladesh is currently home to nearly 1.2 million stateless Rohingya Muslims, mostly of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine state in their home country of Myanmar in August 2017. ​​​​​​​

Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Disaster Management and Relief Ministry in a media statement Monday said the government has decided to allocate nearly 47 million Bangladeshi taka ($555,149) and 9,475 metric tons of rice for virus-affected people across the country as humanitarian aid.

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