By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Officials with Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) report increasing numbers of dengue fever cases outside of the city of Dhaka recently, which may be due to millions of people leaving the capital to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha at their home towns or villages.

In just the past seven days, DGHS reported 15,699 dengue cases–7890 cases in Dhaka and 7809 cases outside of Dhaka.

Officials put the dengue tally in the country at 41,178 to date, with more than half the cases reported in the first third of August alone. Official government figures put the death till at 40; however, different media outlets put the death count at nearly three times the government numbers.

The Daily Star reports that President Abdul Hamid today urged the authorities concerned to encourage people all to keep their houses and surroundings clean for preventing dengue.  He said Eid is being observed at a time when dengue fever has taken a heavy toll on public health and spread all over the country.

“The concerned will have to take measures to encourage all to keep their houses and surroundings clean for preventing dengue. You’ll also have to pay attention so that the joy of Eid doesn’t cause sufferings to others. It’s possible to prevent dengue if we’re aware of the situation,” he said, asking people not to panic.

Some are critical of the government’s response to the dengue outbreak. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday said dengue turned into an epidemic due the government’s indifference and lack of accountability.