The COVID-19 death toll in Bangladesh increased to 1,968 after another 42 fatalities were reported, health officials said on Friday.

The tally of infections surged to 156,391 on the back of 3,114 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8 am on Friday, officials said.

Another 1,606 infected patients recovered from the disease in the same period, raising the total to 68,048, DGHS Additional Director General Nasima Sultana said in a media briefing.

The recovery rate currently stands at 43.51 per cent while the mortality rate is 1.26 per cent, she added.

The latest fatalities include 32 men and 10 women. In terms of their ages, one was between 11 and 20, three between 21 and 30, one between 31 and 40, five between 41 and 50, 22 between 51 and 70, seven between 71 and 80 while three were over the age of 81, according to government data.

As many as 14,650 samples were tested at 63 authorised labs across the country in the last 24 hours with 21.26 of these returning positive results, said Sultana.

Globally, over 10.87 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and 521,355 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.