Most of the recent deaths caused by the Delta variant of the virus
Amid an all-out lockdown in Rajshahi, and both partial and full restrictions on public movement in its adjoining border districts, another 13 more people died of Covid-19 at Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH).
With the latest single-day body count, 161 patients died in the hospital in just 16 days till Wednesday morning. Twelve people died there in a 24-hour span till 8am on Tuesday.
Alarmingly, most of the recent fatalities were caused due to the deadlier Indian or Delta variant of the virus.
Adding to the situation was the widespread transmission of the virus in rural areas of the border districts, which have already become a hotspot of the Delta variant.
To deal with the pressure of virus patients, the hospital authorities have added 36 normal beds and two ICU beds to the hospital's existing capacity.
Besides, a letter has been sent to the health authorities to send 15 more physicians to the hospital.
Meanwhile, RMCH sources said two-thirds of the patients undergoing treatment at the hospital were from villages.
Considering the worsening situation, the hospital authorities recommended extending the ongoing Covid-19 curbs in the districts for another two weeks.
“In order to make the best of the lockdown, it needs to be in effect for at least another 14 days,” said RMCH Director Brig Gen Shamim Yeazdani.
Rajshahi is already under a weeklong lockdown starting June 11 as the cases and deaths are increasing there. The curbs will end on Friday midnight.
The fatalities and new patients
Of the new deceased, six were women who died in the past 24 hours till 8am on Wednesday.
Among them, five had tested positive for the deadly virus while the rest were Covid suspects, said the hospital director.
Eight of them were from Rajshahi alone while four from Chapainawabganj and one from Kushtia.
A total of 48 people were admitted to the Covid unit of the hospital in the past 24 hours, taking the tally of patients to 344 against a 305-bed capacity.
Of the new patients, 27 were from Rajshahi, eight from Chapainawabganj, seven from Natore, four from Naogaon and one each from Pabna and Kushtia.
“Most of them died due to the Delta variant and suffered much before their death as compared to other Covid victims,” Brig Gen Shamim Yeazdani said.
"We are doing our best and providing treatment to as many Covid patients as possible at the hospital after arranging additional beds," he added.
Covid spreads in villages
Stating that the number of patients coming from the rural areas was on the rise, the RMCH director said: “More than 40% of the patients who came to us in the last 24 hours are from the rural areas.
“This indicates that the virus is spreading at a high rate in the villages. Also, more young people are getting infected. These have raised new concerns for us.”
Infection rate dips in Rajshahi
In the last 24 hours, as many as 1,581 samples were tested in Rajshahi district. Of the samples tested, 343 turned out to be positive with a test-positivity rate of 21.70%.
The rate in the previous two days was 43.44% and 30.17% respectively.