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Dengue Outbreak: Country crosses grim milestone of 2 lakh cases

The number of dengue cases hit another grim milestone yesterday with the figure topping 200,000, the highest ever cases logged in a year in Bangladesh.

As many as 1,793 dengue patients were hospitalised in 24 hours preceding 8:00am yesterday, taking the total caseload to 200,981, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

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The previous all-time high of 101,354 cases were recorded in 2019.

The number of fatalities is also nearing 1,000 this year as eight more people died from the mosquito-borne disease during the 24-hour period, raising the death toll to 975.

"All the efforts to prevent dengue did not work well. The city corporations have failed to prevent dengue. It seems that we are at the mercy of nature," Dr Benazir Ahmed, a former member of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group of the health ministry, told The Daily Star.

He, however, said the number of dengue cases may come down if October sees less rain than September.

The country has been battling a surge of dengue infections since June and the number of infections kept rising over the months. Hospitals and clinics, especially in Dhaka, are struggling to accommodate a large number of patients.

Bangladesh witnessed the first dengue outbreak in Dhaka in 2000.

According to DGHS data, the number of dengue cases was 50,000 on July 31 this year. Within 20 days, the figure topped 100,000 and it reached 150,000 on September 11.

This year, the total number of 975 deaths are already higher than the combined 853 deaths in 23 years from 2000.

Considering the average daily death rate of 13 in the last 30 days, the number of deaths may top 1,000 within the next one week.

The DGHS said 9,526 dengue patients were undergoing treatment at different hospitals across the country yesterday morning.

A total of 190,480 patients have so far been released from hospitals this year, it added.