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Hospitals in Dhaka overwhelmed with Covid patients: Minister

Hospitals in Dhaka overwhelmed with Covid patients: Minister

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One-third of hospital beds in Dhaka are now occupied with Covid-19 patients, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Friday.

The minister said this while briefing the media at the Directorate General of Health Services on Friday on the new restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spike in Covid cases.

“The Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh has deteriorated a bit as elsewhere in the world. On Thursday, around 10,900 people were infected. The infection rate first rose to 10-15 percent and then to 20per percent within a day’s difference,” he said.

As people are not maintaining health rules even after the issuance of 11-point directive by the government, the infection is increasing, he said. “If it continues no bed will remain empty in the hospitals.”

“Recently, we’ve observed a surge in infections but schools are open. So, a decision has been taken to keep all the educational institutions shut for two weeks to keep the students safe,” the minister added.

After the two weeks, he said, a fresh decision will be taken considering the Covid-19 situation in the country.

The situations in the hospitals have been a growing concern as more than 2,000 people are currently being hospitalised across the country everyday with Covid-19 infections, including 1,000 in hospital in Dhaka city alone, Zahid Maleque said.

As the situation keeps worsening, the government has also prohibited the gathering of 100 people for any political, social or religious programmes. Those who will attend such programmes will need to have Covid-19 vaccine cards and RT-PCR test certificates, he said.

The minister said: “We’re considering an option to run offices with 50 per cent staff’s attendance and a notification will be issued in this regard soon.”

Maleque directed the administration to strictly monitor the situation to ensure the compliance of health protocols.Regarding the trade fair, sports events at stadiums and Ekushey book fair, the minister said it will be hard to say to not gather more than 100 people in these places but the direction to have Covid-19 vaccine certificates and RT-PCR test results will remain applicable for everyone.

He said, “So far, 15.10 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the country. Of them, 9 .24 crore were of the first dose and 5.80 crore the second dose. Still, we have a stock of 9 crore more vaccines.”

He said 337,350 doses of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine from the US have been received recently which will be administered soon.