It was noted that there were only 26 ICU beds in the whole of Rangpur division, home to a population of 15.79 million
The number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the last 30 days have rapidly climbed to 17,367 in Rangpur division, where the infection rate continues rising fast.
The district-wise breakdown of patients now stands at 4,459 in Rangpur, 820 in Panchagarh, 1,489 in Nilphamari, 1,025 in Lalmonirhat, 1,100 in Kurigram, 1,614 in Thakurgaon, 5,213 in Dinajpur and 1,647 in Gaibandha.
Since the beginning, a total of 1,21,372 collected samples were tested in the division till Sunday, and of them, 17,367 were found Covid-19 positive with an average infection rate of 14.31%.
Meanwhile, the number of fatalities rose to 329 with one more death reported from Rangpur on Sunday.
The district-wise breakdown of total fatalities now stands at 77 in Rangpur, 116 in Dinajpur, 34 in Thakurgaon, 33 in Nilphamari, 17 in Kurigram, 20 in Panchagarh, 21 in Gaibandha and 11 in Lalmonirhat.
According to the health department, due to the delay in collecting and testing samples, by the time Covid-positive patients get their results, their family members have already become infected, raising the overall number of cases.
Consequently, leading hospitals in the division equipped with critical care units are seeing a surge in Covid-19 patients in need of ICU facilities.
However, as many patients have been having difficulties in acquiring needed facilities, it was discovered that there were only 26 ICU beds in Rangpur division, which is home to a population of 15.79 million.
Speaking in this regard, Dr SM Nurun Nabi, caretaker of the Rangpur Dedicated Corona Isolation Hospital, said there were 10 ICU beds at the hospital, of which nine were occupied by patients on Saturday.
And with the remaining 16 ICU beds at the Covid-19 dedicated hospital in Dinajpur, it was not possible to provide necessary emergency medical services, said an official of the health department.
The Rangpur Medical College Principal, Professor Dr AKM Nurunnobi Lyzu, said there were only two PCR testing facilities—one in Rangpur and the other in Dinajpur—for all the samples collected from eight districts under the Rangpur division.
“However, the PCR labs, each having a maximum daily capacity of testing 188 samples, are proving insufficient in testing the rising number of samples that are collected every day.”
When contacted, Rangpur Civil Surgeon Hiramba Kumar Roy said the rate of coronavirus infections in the district had increased in the last few days. “At this time, it is crucial that everyone follow the mandated health directives and maintain social distancing to reduce the need for hospital treatment.”
Speaking about the overall situation, Rangpur Divisional Director (Health) Dr Ahad Ali said an acute shortage of ICU beds was currently being observed across the districts as the number of patients getting admitted to hospitals with Covid-19 infection was increasing.
“We have informed the higher authorities about the need to increase ICU capacities in hospitals under Rangpur division,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rangpur Covid-19 Prevention Committee Convener Khairul Anam Benju said that there were no sample collecting booths in the area. “If samples are collected properly, the number of Covid-19 cases would rise even further.”
He demanded that local administrations go for a lockdown of the homes of Covid-19 patients to prevent a further transmission of the deadly virus.