Amid a steady fall in the number of coronavirus cases over the last few weeks, there has been a decline in hospital admissions with more than 84 per cent general and 70 per cent ICU beds lying vacant in public and private hospitals across the country.
Bangladesh reported 698 infections and 32 deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours till 8:00am on Monday, taking the tallies to 780,857 and 12,181 respectively.The daily positivity rate has been reported at 6.75 per cent while the case fatality rate has stood at 1.56 per cent, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
“Both the number and rate of the daily coronavirus infections have declined. At the same time, the number of virus deaths has also seen a fall. We want that the coronavirus situation improves further. And all must maintain health guidelines properly for this,” Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque told a press briefing at the Secretariat on Monday.
While reading out the regular health bulletin on Sunday, Dr Md Nazmul Islam, DGHS spokesperson, said there was no room for complacency with the current declining trend of coronavirus infections since Bangladesh is still in the middle of the 2nd wave of Covid-19.
After the 2nd wave of coronavirus hit the country, hospitals were overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. The abrupt rise in new Covid-19 cases created a crisis of general and intensive care unit (ICU) beds in hospitals across the country, including Dhaka.
However, the pressure on general as well as ICU beds for Covid-19 patients has reduced over the past few weeks as the number of patients has been declining across the country.
According to the DGHS data available as of 8:00am Monday, some 84.47 per cent general and 70.28 per cent ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in public and private hospitals across the country remained vacant.It said there are 11,991 general and 1,171 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in public and private hospitals throughout the country.
Some 10,129 general and 823 ICU beds remained vacant as of Monday as a total of 1,862 Covid-19 patients were admitted to general beds and 348 were in ICU beds across the country.
In the capital, the DGHS data said, 2,761 general and 244 ICU beds, out of total 3,440 and 374 ICU ones, remained vacant in government hospitals dedicated for Covid-19 patients. On the other hand, 1,663 general and 411 ICU beds, out of 4,424 and 655 ICU ones, are empty in private hospitals in the capital. All the general beds remained vacant in DNCC Covid Dedicated Hospital and Infectious Disease Hospital while some 140 general beds, out of total 169, remained vacant in Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Govt Hospital, 431 general beds, out of 705, in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (Unit 2) and the burn unit of the hospital, 323 general beds, out of 350, and one ICU bed remained vacant in Mugda Medical College Hospital, 450 general beds, out of 485, in Central Police Hospital, 170 general beds, out of 230, in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and 156 general beds, out of total 174, remained vacant in Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital.
Bangladesh reported its first three coronavirus cases on March 8 last year and the first virus-related death 10 days later.
Both infections and deaths from coronavirus started to decline from the first week of July last year and the fall continued till the first week of March this year.
However, the numbers started rising further from March 10. Highest 7,626 cases were reported on April 7 and record 112 deaths were registered on April 19.
Following a fresh surge in both infections and deaths from the deadly pathogen, the government enforced a lockdown which has been extended until May 23.
Bangladesh is witnessing a gradual fall in both infections and deaths from coronavirus over the last few weeks.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), icddr,b and Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives (ideSHi) have jointly conducted a study and so far found four variants of the coronavirus — B.1.17 (UK variant), B.1.351 (South Africa variant), B.1.525 (Nigeria variant) and B.1.617.2 (Indian variant) — after carrying out genome sequencing of 200 patients.
The Indian variant of the coronavirus has been found among six patients in Bangladesh while one of them died, said the IEDCR.