DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh continued Tuesday to experience coronavirus deaths and infections in a third consecutive wave despite successive lockdown restrictions for months to stop the spread.

The south Asian country registered its highest single-day casualties with 258 deaths and 14,925 new cases with a worrying infection rate of 28.44%, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Casualties reached 19,779 while the number of infections rising to 1,194,752, said DGHS.

The country of about 170 million is struggling to handle the rising number of coronavirus patients as health facilities, including in the capital, Dhaka, and major cities, are already occupied and queued for intensive care units and other support, according to the hospital authorities.

Home Minister Asaduzzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters following an inter-ministerial meeting on the virus that ongoing restrictions will not be eased and reopening of apparel and other factories will not happen before Aug. 5.

Factory owners’ earlier repeatedly requested that the government allow them to reopen during the restriction as they have been incurring losses.

“We are unable to keep their [factory owners] requests amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the strict restriction will be followed accordingly across the county,” said Kamal.

Needy people have been getting food assistance from district authorities and local government offices during the lockdown, he added.

The government decided to initiate a mass vaccination at the village level with an on-the-spot registration option from Aug. 7 to cover more citizens, according to the nation’s Cabinet Secretary on Tuesday.

Amid the alarming spike in infections with the presence of the Delta variant, Bangladesh has administered 12 million COVID-19 vaccines shots, including first and second doses.

It has implemented a 14-days strict lockdown since July 23 amid surging infections.

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