A weeklong strict lockdown was imposed on Rajshahi city on Friday after it has been identified as a new hotspot of coronavirus.
The local administration went for the strict measures shutting shops and transport services due to a sudden rise in both deaths and infections from the virus.A total of 26 people have died in Rajshahi and its adjoining three districts in the last 24 hours till Friday morning.
Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) has alone registered 15 new fatalities from coronavirus in a day.
The dead were from Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Natore, who breathed their last in the 24 hours till 6:00am on Friday.
Of them, seven were diagnosed with Covid-19 while the rest died before their tests could be completed, said Dr Saiful Ferdous, deputy director of RMCH.
As many as 108 people have died from the disease during treatment in the hospital so far in June. The test results of 63 of them came back positive. The others had showed symptoms consistent with the disease.
Of the 43 patients admitted to the RMCH's coronavirus unit in the last 24 hours, 22 hailed from Rajshahi, 11 from Chapainawabganj and seven from Naogaon. The others came from Natore, Pabna and Meherpur.Twenty-five patients were discharged from the hospital during the period.
As of 6:00am on Thursday, the corona ward, which has a capacity of 271 beds, was taking care of 297 patients with 18 more receiving treatment in the intensive care unit.
These patients came from Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Naogaon, Pabna and Kushtia, the authorities said.
In such a situation, Divisional Commissioner Humayun Kabir announced the lockdown on Thursday, 10 days after a committee of experts at the Directorate General of Health Services recommended locking down seven bordering districts, including Rajshahi.
A day later, Health Minister Zahid Maleque warned that any delay in imposing complete lockdown on those districts would deepen the crisis.
Now, the RMCH is so overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients that it has to keep new patients on the floor for treatment.
Kabir said they took the decision after analysing the data of Covid-19 infections and deaths in Rajshahi district.
He said no vehicle will be allowed into Rajshahi from Chanpainawabganj, Natore and Naogaon districts and vehicles cannot leave the district. But emergency vehicles are outside the purview of the lockdown.
Pharmacies, kitchen markets, medical services and people engaged in performing the last rites of the dead, ambulances and other emergency vehicles and those transporting mangoes will be allowed. Meanwhile, five more Covid-19 patients died at Khulna 100-bed Covid-19 Hospital in the last 24 hours till Friday morning, raising the total death toll in the hospital to 300.
Dr Suhas Ranjan Das, spokesperson of the hospital, confirmed the matter in the morning.
At least 58 people were admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours, taking the number of patients undergoing treatment there to 143.
During the same period, the RT-PCR laboratory at Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) tested 376 samples, of which 148 tested positive with a positivity rate of 39.36 per cent.
This is the highest single-day Covid-19 infection rate at the KMCH so far, said its Vice-Principal Dr Mehedi Newaz.