DHAKA, Bangladesh 

Bangladesh on Sunday witnessed 153 COVID-19 deaths, the highest number since the pandemic hit the country, amid a weeklong strict nationwide lockdown in effect since July 1 to curb the spread of the virus.

The death toll in the South Asian country reached 15,065, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Some 8,660 infections over the past 24 hours raised the total number of infections to 944,917, it said, adding some 29,879 COVID-19 samples were tested across the country over the past day.

The daily positivity rate of 29% raised fears among public health experts as the World Health Organization recommended a 5% or below rate.

Bangladesh also imposed a strict lockdown on July 1 amid soaring infections and deaths, asking people to stay home unless there was an emergency.

Meanwhile, the law enforcement agencies arrested over 600 people in the capital Dhaka on the fourth day of the weeklong lockdown over alleged violations of the safety guidelines.

In the last four days, at least 2,100 people have been arrested in Dhaka, according to police.

More than 5.82 million people have received their first doses, while over 4.28 million have been fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data, a tracking website affiliated with Oxford University.

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