The country registered the highest 143 deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours until Thursday morning with around 75% of the fatalities outside the Dhaka division.
In the past 24 hours, 8,301 more Covid cases were recorded as the positivity rate peaked to 25.90%.
Doctors at district hospitals are going through a new experience as they have to deal with an overwhelming number of Covid patients. Bed and oxygen crises have also intensified in the district hospitals.
Public health experts said the lack of experience in managing critical patients, poor hospital management, and treatment not following the protocol could have contributed to the burgeoning fatalities.
Among the eight divisions, Dhaka had been topping infections and deaths since the virus outbreak last year. But with the rapid spread of the Delta strain in north-western and southern bordering districts in mid-May, the situation has changed.
"Deaths are on the rise due to mismanagement at hospitals. Most of the district-level medical facilities do not have intensive care unit (ICU) beds and high-flow nasal cannula," said Prof Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19.
The renowned virologist told The Business Standard that there should be efforts to enhance medical capacity along with curbing the infections.
The health directorate said doctors across the country are following the same protocol for Covid patient treatments.
"But the local hospitals, especially in Khulna and Satkhira, have overrun and are exhausted. The occupancy rate is always 100%. The hospitals never saw such a rush before," Prof Robed Amin, health directorate spokesperson, told TBS Thursday.
He said the hospitals have already been facing a manpower crisis.
"The Delta variant is wreaking havoc on doctors as they are trying their best. But the virus type is such that patients deteriorate very fast," he added.
Bangladesh on Thursday recorded more than 100 single-day deaths for the fifth consecutive day. Earlier in April, 100 plus casualties were recorded for the fourth day in a row.
With the latest figures, the death toll reached 14,646, with a 1.59% mortality rate, according to the health directorate.
Khulna hospitals overwhelmed, oxygen crisis intensifies
Among the divisions, Khulna has been witnessing the highest number of deaths for the last couple of days. The division alone had a record 46-death Thursday.
The two public hospitals in Khulna – Khulna Medical College Hospital and Khulna General Hospital – have 200 beds and 20 ICU beds for Covid patients. Private facility Gazi Medical College Hospital has 100 beds and nine ICU beds.
But patients had already overwhelmed the two public and one private Covid dedicated hospitals, and there were no ICUs left too.
Around 180-190 patients were being treated against the 130 beds at the Khulna Medical College Hospital. Only 77 of the beds at the hospital have central oxygen coverage as the rest of the patients have to rely on oxygen cylinders.
Sajib Raihan, Khulna Depot manager of Spectra Oxygen Limited, said the daily demand in Khulna is now 700 cylinders while they are supplying 410 cylinders.
Dr Suhas Ranjan Halder, resident medical officer and spokesperson of the Covid unit at Khulna Medical College Hospital, said, "Patients keep occupying as soon as a bed gets vacant. With so many limitations, we are trying our best."
Gazi Medical College Owner Dr Gazi Mijanur Rahman said, "Oxygen crisis is our main problem. The suppliers often miss the supply time, which puts both the patients and doctors in trouble."
Coronavirus test at Khulna Medical College Hospital RT-PCR lab was shut Thursday as the lab was found contaminated. The authorities said it will take three days to resume tests at the facility.
Patients being treated on hospital floor
The coronavirus positivity rate in Satkhira on Thursday was 49.05%. hospitals in the district had more patients admitted than the capacity.
On Wednesday, nine patients died due to an oxygen supply crisis at Satkhira Medical College Hospital.
Satkhira Medical College Hospital Covid unit chief Dr Manas Kumar Mandal said the 250-bed hospital had 275 patients admitted on Thursday. The additional 25 patients were being treated on the floor.
"But, if the number of admitted patients exceeds 300, the authorities will have to think otherwise," he added.
On Thursday, 171 Covid patients were undergoing treatment at the Covid ward of Kushtia 250-bed General Hospital. The patient rush has prompted an oxygen crisis, said the hospital resident medical officer Dr Tapas Kumar Sarker.
Rajshahi Medical College Hospital had 462 patients against its 405 beds. None of the hospital's 20 ICU beds were vacant Thursday.