Bangladesh saw another record of Covid-19 fatalities, with 102 deaths reported in the last 24 hours till 8am Sunday.
It was the third consecutive day that the country reported more than 100 fatalities. On Friday and Saturday, 101 deaths were reported.
With Sunday's figures, the Covid-19 death toll reached 10,385 in the country with a fatality rate of 1.44%, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Nazrul Islam, a noted virologist and a member of the national technical advisory committee on Covid-19, told The Business Standard Covid-19 patients were dying due to late arrival at hospital.
He said patients should go to hospital as soon as they have breathing problems.
But there is also a bed crisis in hospitals and the number of beds needs to be increased, he noted.
Nazrul further said the opening of the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Covid-19 hospital would help meet the demand for beds to some extent, but the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds should be increased.
He said there would be more deaths if there were more patients, adding that infections have to be controlled to reduce deaths.
"It has to be ensured that everyone is wearing a face mask. Otherwise, the situation will be worse in the future," he added.
50% of patients dying within five days of hospitalisation
About half of the Covid-19 patients are dying within five days of hospitalisation, says a report of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
Analysing data from 28 January to 15 April, the IEDCR says 48% of patients died within five days of hospitalisation, and 16% within five to 10 days.
Also, 44% of those infected during this period were admitted to hospital while 33% were treated in institutional isolation, 17% at home, and 6% by other means.
The report unveiled on Sunday said 52% of those who died had been hospitalised within five days of showing symptoms. 26% were hospitalised within five to 10 days, and 12% within 11 to 15 days.
Moreover, 736 people died of Covid-19 in March this year while 941 died until 15 April, causing the death rate to jump by 32.2%.
The report compared last year's February-April figures with that of the same period this year and found that no one died in February 2020 while five died in March and 163 in April.
On the other hand, 281, 638, and 941 people died in February, March, and April this year.
Covid-19 patients are dying fast nowadays, the report noted.
It said about 46% of the participants in several studies conducted in Bangladesh during the pandemic reported depression while 33% showed symptoms of anxiety.
Highlighting the results of a survey by the National Institute of Mental Health, the report said the incidence of mental illness among adults was 18.7% in 2018. Of them, 6.7% had symptoms of depression, and 4.7% that of anxiety.
That incidence has now risen alarmingly.
The report further said health workers treating Covid-19 patients are feeling stressed and burned out as they are working under pressure and this is taking a toll on their mental health.
In this situation, the IEDCR suggested some measures to take care of their mental health. It advised not to panic in order to maintain immunity.
In addition, doing exercise and sleeping regularly, doing work that one loves, spending time with family at home, helping each other, and following religious advice were encouraged.
3,698 new infections in 24 hours
Meanwhile, the country recorded 3,698 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 718,950.
Between 4 and 7 April, the number of new cases was above 7,000 every day, and it dropped below the 5,000-mark on 15 April with 4,192 new infections. The figure was 3,473 on Saturday.
A total of 19,404 samples were tested in the last 24 hours in 257 labs across the country.
Among the latest day's victims, 59 were men and 43 were women. Of them, 97 died in different hospitals across the country and five breathed their last at home.
Moreover, 68 of the victims hailed from Dhaka, 22 from Chattogram, four each from Barishal and Mymensingh, three from Rajshahi, and one from Khulna divisions.
Meanwhile, 6,121 patients were declared free of Covid-19 during the last 24 hours, with an 85.53% recovery rate.
The gender breakdown of Covid-19 victims shows that 7,694 of the total deceased were men and 2,691 were women.
The country's maiden cases were reported on 8 March last year and the first death from the virus was reported on 18 March that year.