- Countrywide infection rate doubled in 3 weeks
- Daily infection on Thursday was highest in 46 days
- 10 districts see new Covid cases jump by 40-50%
- Khulna division has the highest infection rate
Hospitals in districts outside Dhaka are facing space constraints even after increasing the number of beds to accommodate more patients, with an explosion of Covid infections and deaths.
In a matter of just three weeks, the countrywide infection rate has nearly doubled to 13%. A rapid spread of the virus transmission has caused the positivity rate jump to as much as 40-50% in 10 districts.
With all beds occupied, many public healthcare facilities in these districts have allowed patients to lie down on the floor to receive treatment, making it difficult for existing doctors and other healthcare staff to continue providing the services.
This is the backdrop to the health directorate planning to send more doctors to the "red-zone" areas.
In Rajshahi, one of the districts in peril, 9 people died in hospital in 24 hours until 8:00am on Thursday. Three more died at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, who came from Chapainawabganj.
The number of patients at the hospital rose to 290 on Thursday from 277 a day ago whereas it has 271 beds for Covid patients, said Deputy Director of the hospital Saiful Ferdous.
The hospital is managing the additional patients with oxygen cylinders while the beds are attached with the direct oxygen supply line, he added.
The virus curve went upward for the fifth consecutive day with a 13.25% positivity rate, the highest in 46 days, recorded on Thursday. During the latest 24-hour cycle, 2,576 more people were diagnosed with the disease, taking the total case count to 8,20,395 in the country.
In the period, 40 people died of Covid-19, increasing the tally to 12,989.
At the time of the latest health bulletin, Khulna Medical College Hospital was treating 130 patients while it had 100 beds in its Covid ward. It stopped admitting any more patients unless a bed became available.
"Doctors and health workers are having a hard time dealing with patients," said Dr Vice Chancellor Mehedi Newaz, of Khulna Medical College Hospital.
According to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, districts with an infection rate of 10% and above are considered "high risk" zones, while those recording 5-9% infection rate are labelled as "medium risk" zones. An infection rate below 5% is deemed as low risk.
Khulna division surpassed other districts in terms of infections on Thursday, registering a 38.92% positivity rate. Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi had been on top of the list for a couple of days.
In Satkhira district, the coronavirus positivity rate was 50.52%. With an 31.25% infection rate, Rangpur division was also witnessing a massive outbreak of the disease.
Virus infections in north-western districts -- Natore, Joypurhat and Bogura – were also showing a rising trend.
Prof ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services, said the authority was thinking of bringing people in the bordering areas, where the more contagious delta variant was spreading fast, under the coverage of the vaccination drive.
"Necessary equipment for treatment has been sent to hospitals," he said.
Meanwhile, the ongoing lockdown in Satkhira district has been extended for another week due to the rising coronavirus infections.
The announcement was made by Deputy Commissioner SM Mostafa Kamal. The fresh lockdown will be effective until 12:00pm on 18 June.