Khulna seeing the worst of pandemic
With the Covid situation worsening further in Khulna division, the health directorate yesterday reported 82 deaths from the virus all over the country -- the highest in the past seven weeks.
Against this backdrop, the Epidemiology and Public Health Committee of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has again recommended that the government strictly enforce the health safety measures.
"We reiterated our previous recommendations -- strict enforcement of the health safety guidelines and increasing Covid tests in all areas where virus transmission is higher," Dr Abu Jamil Faisel, member of the committee, told The Daily Star yesterday.
At a meeting on Saturday night, the committee discussed the Covid situation and status of implementation of its recommendations.
Of the 82 deaths yesterday, 32 were reported in Khulna division, according to the DGHS.
The Covid situation in the division, however, is worse than what the DGHS data suggests, as the number of patients exceeded the capacity of at least three hospitals, including Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH).
The health services at the KMCH were in disarray as the rush of patients from nearby districts rose significantly, reports our Khulna correspondent.
Many patients from Satkhira are coming to the hospital while the number of patients from Bagerhat, Jashore and other districts is also rising.
At least 136 patients were receiving treatment at the hospital yesterday against its capacity of 110. There are only 14 doctors and 67 nurses to look after them.
Besides, the hospital is facing a shortage of high-flow oxygen support, several staffers told our Khulna correspondent on condition of anonymity.
In 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday, the Covid positivity rate was 27.94 percent in Khulna district while it was 16.38 percent in the country.
Contacted, Rasheda Sultana, DGHS health director of Khulna, said, "The overall situation is still under our control."
Seventy beds were installed at the Sadar hospital yesterday. "We have brought doctors from other places to attend the patients there," she added.
The number of Covid-related deaths in Khulna is much higher than that reported every day.
In the first 20 days of this month, at least 52 people died with Covid-like symptoms in the district while the official figure was 34, shows data from the Khulna civil surgeon's office.
In the previous month, the number of deaths (Covid-like symptoms) was 31 while the official toll was 27.
The situation in Rajshahi division also continues to worsen as 12 deaths from the virus were reported yesterday.
The Covid positivity rate in Rajshahi district was 25.11 percent while it was 22.31 percent in the division.
As of 12:00pm yesterday, an additional 68 patients were receiving treatment in the 289-bed Covid unit at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, according to the DGHS data.
Dhaka division saw 21 Covid deaths yesterday.
The rush of patients at all the 15 Covid-dedicated hospitals in the capital has also been on the rise over the last few days.
On June 1, there were 757 patients in general wards and 177 in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in 15 Covid-dedicated hospitals in the city.
Yesterday, the number of patients rose to 1,089 in general wards and to 182 in the ICUs.
The situation in Chattogram is also alarming as nine Covid patients died there yesterday. The occupancy of general beds in the four Covid-dedicated public hospitals also rose to 208 yesterday from 172 on June 1.
Meanwhile, the local administration has imposed weeklong restrictions on public and vehicular movement in Tangail and Elenga municipal areas from tomorrow to curb the surge in Covid cases, reports our Tangail correspondent.
In these areas, only kitchen markets, shops selling essential goods and medicine stores will be allowed to stay open while all markets, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants will remain closed during the period.
Besides, all vehicles except for trucks carrying essentials will have to be kept off the roads.