Infections have spread rapidly in the country in the fourth wave of the coronavirus thanks to a sub-variant of Omicron but the severity is still less than in the previous waves.
Deaths are also on the rise from coronavirus. In the last week, the number of new cases and deaths has increased by 52.8% and 144.4% respectively.
Experts have advised the elderly and those having comorbidities such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and hypertension to take booster doses and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to reduce casualties.
After four months, Bangladesh recorded 12 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours till 8 am Monday. Also, the number of daily infections increased to 2,285 during the same period with the positivity rate reported above 16.51%.
Despite the rapid rise in infections, experts think the situation in July this year will not be as bad as the same month of the previous two years. Because more than 70% of the people in the country have taken full two doses of the vaccine.
Dr Forhad Uddin Hasan Chowdhury, medicine and infectious diseases specialist at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital told The Business Standard, "Now Covid is almost like flu. Covid patients are coming to hospitals or chambers mainly with fever, headache, cold, body ache and sore throat."
"Severe patients are present but much less than the previous three waves. The elderly and those suffering from various types of comorbidities are becoming more severe," he added.
In previous waves, the oxygen demand was much higher due to the delta variant. But now all hospitals have central oxygen lines and at the same time, severity is on the decline due to vaccinations. That's why just a small number of people require oxygen which is not putting pressure on the health system, according to physicians.
Covid patients are increasing at a higher number in Dhaka, Barishal and Chattogram. Still, the hospitalisation rate is low. Against 12,999 general beds dedicated for Covid patients across the country, 173 are hospitalised and, of the 1,181 ICU beds, 96 are occupied.
According to doctors, many people are not opting for the Covid test due to its low severity. Hospitals are sending their admitted patients to Covid wards when any of them test positive for the virus.
Dr Shoman Aniruddha, an anesthesiologist at the ICU of Mugda General Hospital, told TBS, "This time the severity is less, so there is no pressure from patients for ICU like before."
Both Covid and non-Covid patients are being treated at the hospital. But, the hospital has not yet started its Covid ICU as there are no serious patients, he added.
Dr M Mushtuq Husain, an advisor of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told TBS, "Those who are healthy so far cannot be infected with the coronavirus. Because although suffering is less in mild symptoms, the post-Covid complications are severe."
"To prevent infection, everyone has to wear a mask, avoid crowds and take second and booster doses of the vaccine," he added.
Of the 22 people who succumbed to the virus from 27 June to 3 July, 16 were vaccinated and six were unvaccinated. Among the dead three had taken booster doses too.
Dr Forhad Uddin Hasan Chowdhury said, after being vaccinated, people with diabetes or any other comorbidities do not have the same immune response as a healthy person.
"Vaccines reduce the severity. It does not ensure 100% death prevention. That is why you have to wear a mask and follow hygiene rules," he added.
So far, 29,174 people have died and 19,80,974 tested positive for the virus in Bangladesh since 2020.