Bangladesh is preparing to face a potential third wave of coronavirus pandemic as the second wave of the deadly pathogen has been declining over the last few weeks.
“We have already taken preparations to face the possible next wave of coronavirus pandemic as we have some Covid-19 dedicated hospitals,” Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director-general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) told the Daily Sun.
Dr Khurshid Alam said the government has also recruited 4,000 new doctors and they will be posted in diffident hospitals soon.
“We have also already set up a field hospital at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU). If coronavirus cases increase further then the patients may be admitted to the regular hospitals too,” he added.
Talking to the Daily Sun, Prof Dr Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said the government must remain prepared on all sides to face a possible third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said central oxygen supply and ICU bed facilities have to be ensured in all district-level hospitals to ensure proper treatment for serious Covid-19 patients across the country. He also said the number of coronavirus testing labs will also have to be increased.
“Coronavirus cases will keep declining for some time. The third wave of the coronavirus pandemic may hit the country in March next year. If the government can vaccinate a large number of people, the third wave may get delayed in the country,” Nazrul Islam, also former Vice-Chancellor of the BSMMU, said.
“All necessary preparations will have to be taken to face a possible third wave. All ports will have to be brought under strict screening measures and ports will have to be closed immediately if any new strain hits any country so that it can’t enter our country,” Public health expert, Dr Benazir Ahmed said.
Dr Benazir also said more and more people will have to be vaccinated to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
After the second wave of coronavirus transmission, the number of new cases and deaths continue to decrease over the last six weeks.
According to the DGHS, the positivity rate has dropped to below 10 per cent for the seventh day in a row on Friday. A positivity rate of 8.65 per cent was reported in the last 24 hours.
Earlier on June 7, the health officials reported an 11.47 per cent positivity rate followed by an alarming rise in infections which reached its peak at 32.55 per cent on July 24.
The single-day death has been also declining as 38 deaths were reported in 24 hours till Friday morning.
The highest 264 deaths were recorded in the country on August 5 and August 10 while the highest 16,230 cases were reported on July 28.
The situation started worsening in June and reached its peak in July. The catastrophic situation continued till mid of August this year during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh.
Between May and June this year, there was a 273 per cent rise in monthly caseloads and 162 per cent in fatalities. In July, there was a 150 per cent increase in caseloads and a 170 per cent rise in deaths compared to the previous month, according to a report of the WHO.
In India, a panel of experts in a report submitted to the country's Prime Minister's Office predicted three scenarios: the third wave could peak in October with 3.2 lakh positive cases per day; five lakh positive cases per day; and two lakh positive cases per day, said media reports.
Another variant causing concerns is the new Delta plus variant, which is considered highly infectious and has been reported in Maharashtra, Indian media reported, adding that experts have warned that this variant may trigger a third wave of the pandemic in the state.
Besides, the spectre of children being affected in a possible third wave is also rising.