DHAKA, Bangladesh 

An alarming spike in seasonal dengue fever in Bangladesh has raised a new challenge for authorities in the South Asian country as it grapples with the threat of a rising coronavirus, according to official sources on Sunday.

“It (dengue) has infected many people in the last couple of days and has become a new issue of tension for the government,” Nazmul Islam, spokesman of the country’s Directorate General of Health Services, said at a virtual press briefing.

Urging residents to follow health instructions against both dengue fever and COVID-19, Islam said central and regional officials are endeavoring to address the complex situation emerging from the dual public health concerns.

According to the latest government health update released on Sunday evening, a total of 1,679 patients have been diagnosed with the dengue this year, including 102 over the last 24 hours.

Of these, July accounted for 1,304 cases, or 77% of total patients.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases marked a slight rise on Sunday after the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha earlier this week, with 228 new fatalities and 11,291 new cases in the last 24 hours in the South Asian country of nearly 165 million people.

However, 10,584 patients have recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours.

The latest additions pushed the country’s total death tally to 19,274, along with over 1.16 million cases and nearly 999,000 recoveries.

To stem the spread of the coronavirus, Bangladesh has been observing a nationwide lockdown since July 23 that is set to continue until Aug. 5.

Until Saturday, Bangladesh has served nearly 11.5 million shots of COVID-19 vaccines including, the first and second doses, amid a mass vaccination drive.

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