At present, most of the new Covid-19 patients are young people, said Professor Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
"Currently, most Covid-19 patients need ICU support. Now, mostly youths are being infected. Earlier we saw that those who have comorbidities were more affected by the virus, but now we see that young, good and healthy people are being affected too," he said at a workshop at the 250-bed TB Hospital, Shyamoli in the capital on Sunday.
Dr ABM Khurshid Alam said, "I have not received any request for ICU beds in the last two months. But, for the last few days I have been getting some phone calls, every day, informing me that ICU beds are not available. Since we were at ease in the last two months, we are not following any hygiene rules now. The country is in danger if the health rules are neglected."
He further said, "The health authorities have instructed all hospitals in the country to be ready to deal with [novel] coronavirus infections. I sat with officials of Covid-19 Hospitals from all over the country. Some of those might have been declared non-Covid-19 hospitals because there were low numbers of patients, but they are being prepared again for dealing with [novel] coronavirus patients."
He also instructed the health officials to keep the ICU beds ready. If equipment is needed, they should acquire it and be ready for the management of the Covid-19 patients.
The director general of the DGHS said the Ministry of Public Administration has already instructed all local administration to comply with the health rules.
Asked if the new variant of Covid-19 from South Africa and the United Kingdom has been increasing the transmission of the virus in Bangladesh, he said the issue was being investigated through genome sequencing.
He added that the next shipment of the purchased Covid-19 vaccine will reach the country soon. But he also urged the people to abide by the health rules even after receiving the vaccine.
Emphasising the importance of following health rules, Dr ABM Khurshid Alam said, "Immunity is not developed that well after taking the first dose of the vaccine. Besides, how long this resistance will last even after taking the second dose is still uncertain."