Coronavirus is spreading fast again in the country with a large number of patients crowding the hospitals dedicated to treatment of the fatal disease.
An official figure shows that the numbers of both infection and death have increased in the country in the last two weeks.The infection rate had been declining since November 30 last year, but it has started rising further from February 14.
Hospital sources said Covid-19 dedicated hospitals across the country are being crowded with patients every day.
“I’ve recently got some phone calls that ICU beds are not available,” Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said while talking to reporters on Sunday.
“Currently, most Covid-19 patients need ICU support. Earlier, we saw that those who have co-morbidity were infected with the virus, but now we see that young and healthy people are also being infected with the deadly pathogen.”
According to the DGHS, 18 more coronavirus patients have died and 1,159 new cases have been detected in the last 24 hours till Sunday morning. The virus infection rate was 7.15 per cent.
The total number of infection cases has stood at 5,57395 while the death number rises to 8,545. A total of 42, 64551 samples have so far been tested across the country as the virus testing is being carried on in 219 labs.The DGHS said 13 people died of Covid-19 on March 13, 13 on March 12, 6 on March 11, 7 on March 10, 13 on March 9, 14 on March 8 and 11 on March 7, 10 on March 6, 6 on March 5, 7 on March 4, 5 on March 3, 7 on March 2 and 8 on March 1.
Meanwhile, 1,014 coronavirus patients were detected on March 13, 1,066 on March 12, 1051 on March 11, 1051 on March 11, 1018 on March 10, 912 on March 9, 845 on March 8, 606 on March 7, 504 on March 6, 635 on March 5, 619 on March 4, 614 on March 3, 515 on March 2 and 585 on March 1.
There are a total of 10,303 general beds in hospitals for coronavirus patients across the country, including in Dhaka. Some 2,023 patients were admitted and 8,280 beds remained vacant until March 14.
Moreover, there are a total of 566 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients while 256 patients were admitted and 310 beds were vacant during the same time.
The DGHS report further said 12,773 oxygen cylinders, 715 high-flow nasal cannulas and 660 oxygen concentrators are available in hospitals across the country.
ABM Khurshid Alam said the authorities concerned have already given directives to all the hospitals to fight the wave of coronavirus.
Letters have been sent to civil surgeons, asking them to keep the hospitals and ICU beds prepared for Covid-19 patients.
“We’ve also held meeting with directors of divisional hospitals and hospitals of Dhaka city and heard their facilities and problems. We’ve asked them to keep the hospitals beds prepared and stay ready for management of Covid-19 patients,” he added.
Although the infection rate was below 4 per cent for about two months, new patient detection and infection rates have been rising since last two weeks.
The DGHS data show 585 coronavirus patients were detected and 8 Covid-19 patients died in the last 24 hours till the morning of March 1. The infection detection rate was 4:31 per cent.
It said in 10th epidemiological week of 2021 (from March 7 to March 13), a total of 116,232 samples were tested while 6,512 cases were detected and 76 Covid-19 patients died.
On the other hand, in 9th epidemiological week of 2021 (from February 28 to March 6), a total of 1,01497 samples were tested while 3,893 cases were detected and 51 Covid-19 patients died.
Some 67.27 percent patients increased and 49.02 percent death increased than the 9th epidemiological week than the 10th epidemiological week in the country.
The director general of the DGHS said the Ministry of Public Administration has already instructed all local administration to abide by the health rules.
“We have remained relaxed in the last two months as we didn’t follow health guidelines. We may face something danger in the next time if we don’t follow health guidelines,” he added.
Asked if the new variant of Covid-19 from South Africa and the UK has been increasing the transmission of the virus in Bangladesh, he said the issue was being investigated through genome sequencing.
Talking to journalists, health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque has recently said the daily infection case rate earlier came down to around 2 per cent, but it has now risen to about 6 per cent.
“Ignorance of the health guidelines may be a reason behind the rise in the coronavirus infection case while decreasing viral interference may be another reason behind it. The infection may rise this summer,” Dr Nazrul Islam, a member of National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told the Daily Sun.