The Director-General of the Department of Environment (DoE), Dr AKM Rafique Ahammed, died at a hospital in Dhaka early on Saturday morning, days after contracting Covid-19.
Dr Rafique passed away at Central Police Hospital around 4.14 am, said Dipankar Bar, Senior Information Officer of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
The top environment officer was undergoing treatment at the hospital since March 23 and put on life support after his condition worsened on Friday.
A BCS (administration) cadre of 10th batch who joined government service in 1991, Dr Rafique is survived by his wife and two sons.
Before joining DoE on May 22, 2019, Rafique served as a commercial counsellor at the Consulate of Bangladesh in Dubai.
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Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin, deputy minister Habibun Nahar, secretary Ziaul Hasan, and employees of the ministry have expressed deep shock at the demise of Dr Rafique.
Bangladesh on Friday recorded more than 7,000 coronavirus cases for the fifth time in six days.
The country has registered 7,462 new cases and 63 Covid-related deaths in 24 hours, the Directorate General of Health Services said on Friday. A day before, the country recorded 74 deaths, its highest.
Bangladesh has so far recorded 673,594 coronavirus cases, according to DGHS.
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Although the government enforced a 7-day lockdown from Monday, people have been moving around freely, posing risks of more transmission. The government has hinted at imposing a complete lockdown from April 14.
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8 last year and the first death 10 days later.
The government launched a countrywide vaccination campaign on February 7, with doses received from the Serum Institute of India.
Bangladesh on April 8 began its second phase of inoculating people amid uncertainty over the availability of vaccines.