• Sunday, May 16, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:28 pm

Covid-19: Bangladesh in alarming state as death toll keeps rising

  • Published at 11:58 pm April 15th, 2021
Coronavirus patient graveyard Dhaka Al MarkazulOpu
File photo: Al-Markazul Islami staff bury the body of a Covid-19 patient at a graveyard in Dhaka on April 11, 2020 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

It took only 15 days for the country to go from 9,000 to 10,000 deaths, averaging over 66 deaths per day

Bangladesh has crossed the 10,000-mark for Covid-19 deaths at a time when the whole country is experiencing the worst Covid-19 situation since the start of the pandemic.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), a total of 10,081 people have died from Covid-19 till Thursday.

It only took fifteen days for the country to go from 9,000 to 10,000 deaths, averaging over 66 deaths per day.

Previously, the lowest days taken for registering a thousand deaths were 23 when the country reached the 3,000-mark.

The daily test positivity rate was over 20% as the highest number of samples were being tested recently.

Public health experts and virologists said the increase in the number of deaths implied that the health authorities were yet to ensure adequate treatment facilities across the country, as well as in the capital city.  

10,000 deaths in 394 days

Bangladesh saw 10,081 deaths in 394 days, averaging 25 deaths per day, since reporting the first fatality from the disease on March 18 last year.

The country took almost 85 days to register 1,000 deaths. However, it took 25 days to reach the next thousand-mark.

As the first peak was going through at the time in the country, it took 23, 28 and 28 days, in that order, to reach 3,000, 4000 and 5,000 Covid-19 deaths.

The country reached the 6,000-mark on November 4 and the 7,000-mark on December 12 last. It took 38 days or five weeks to reach 7,000 from 6,000, which in turn, took 43 days - over eight weeks - from the 5,000-mark. 

Since then the Covid-19 situation in the country improved somewhat. As a result, Bangladesh needed 67 days, the longest period after recording the first thousand, to reach the 9,000-mark.  

But in April, the situation took a turn for the worse.

The data of the last nine months, provided by the DGHS, also supported the above analysis.

The country recorded 1,168 deaths from July 16, 2020 to August 15, 2020; 1,177 in the next one month; and over 900 between November and December. Other than that, the death toll always remained below 900 in a 30-day timeframe in the country.

However, from March 16 to April 15, the country recorded 1,510 deaths, the highest in a 30-day period. Moreover, 1,035 deaths have been recorded in April alone.

The seven-day moving average of deaths has also been painting a grim picture. The average went down to 6.57 on March 5. The moving average now stands at 80.

For the seven-day moving average, one has to sum up the data of one week and divide it by seven. This helps in identifying the rise and fall in trends.


Also Read - Covid-19 deaths per million: Bangladesh 6th in South Asia


Mounting deaths show shortcomings in management

Of the people dying between March 16 and April 15, 59.14% were aged above 60 while 23.91% died aged between 51 and 60 years of age. 

Between February 16 and March 15, the ratio was 63.29% for people aged above 60 while 20.28% of people were aged between 51 and 60.

The death ratio increased for people aged between 30 and 40 as well. 

Doctors working at several hospitals in the city told Dhaka Tribune that they had been dealing with more patients than they had previously.

The worst part of the second wave in the country is that more patients with severe infections were coming to the hospitals and all of them needed oxygen supply. Patients with mild and medium infections were also rushing to the hospitals, they observed.    

Young people also seem to be in severe conditions than in the previous year, physicians from every major Covid dedicated hospital have mentioned.

Eminent virologist Prof Nazrul Islam said more deaths indicated that there was a problem in patient management system.

The government might have developed adequate health care facilities in the capital but it had failed to create a minimum of health care facilities at many of the districts, he added.

The member of the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) said a total of 36 districts did not have sufficient facilities to provide treatment to critical patients locally.

So many patients died while trying to reach Dhaka. Besides, there was a scarcity of facilities in Dhaka as well. “If patients had received oxygen in time, many of them would be saved,”  Dr Nazrul Islam added.

The virologist believes that Bangladesh might have reached its second peak and is in plateau stage now. So the number of deaths will not slow down suddenly.

“But if the lockdown works properly there is a chance that the plateau will not be long and many lives will be saved,” he hoped.  

Analysis by Syed Abdullah Al Ahsan

Infographic by Asmaul Hoque Mamun

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