• Monday, Aug 02, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:10 pm

Covid-19: Infection rate climbs, health guidelines remain ignored

  • Published at 09:23 am June 23rd, 2021
coronavirus - mugda general hospital
File photo of people waiting in long lines to undergo Covid-19 tests at the Mugda General Hospital in Dhaka on Sunday, March 21, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Khulna, Rajshahi struggling to cope with patient pressure

The Covid-19 infection rate climbed closer to 20% yesterday, as the people of the country continued to show flagrant disregard for health guidelines.

Bus, launch, and passenger train services were cut off with Dhaka city in a bid to protect the capital from a wave of infection from the border districts. The health care system in Khulna and Rajshahi was on the verge of becoming overwhelmed.

Bangladesh recorded 76 deaths from Covid-19 in the 24 hours to yesterday morning, taking the total number of deaths in the country to 13,702.

The total number of infections rose to 861,150 with 4,846 people testing positive for the coronavirus over the same period. The daily infection rate stood at 19.36% with 25,338 samples, including pending ones, tested at 528 authorized labs across the country.

On the other hand, another 2,903 patients recovered from the infectious disease over the same period.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) revealed the latest figures on Covid-19 in the country through a press release yesterday afternoon.

To date, 6,376,819 tests have been conducted in the country, leading to an overall test positivity rate of 13.5%.

Of the 76 deceased – 42 men and 34 women – 27 were from Khulna division, 14 each from Dhaka and Rajshahi, 10 from Chittagong, six from Rangpur, three from Sylhet, and two from Barisal divisions.

The mortality rate against the total number of cases detected so far stands at 1.59%.

People continue to flout health guidelines during lockdown

Dhaka Tribune’s Khulna correspondent reported that people in Khulna were seen breaking lockdown rules in different parts of the division. Most of the roads in Khulna were barricaded, but commuters moved some of them aside so that their vehicles could pass. 

Executive Magistrate Ariful Islam told Dhaka Tribune that seven people had been detained from the city's Satrasta intersection for violating lockdown rules. 

Dhaka Tribune’s Narayanganj correspondent reported that 400-500 Narayanganj-bound vehicles were diverted from the Siddhirganj, Chittagong Road, and Shimrail junction. People in Narayanganj were seen moving around outdoors despite the “strict” lockdown measures. 

Nazma Akter, a worker, told this correspondent: “ Our factory is open and we need to show up at work. Did anyone think of us before imposing this lockdown?”

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Khondokar Anwarul Islam asked government officials and the law enforcement agencies to take stern action against lockdown violators and those who ignored health rules amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports BSS.

The cabinet secretary also directed an enhancement in mobile court activities, stopping the plying of intercity vehicles, and not allowing the entry and exit of any transport except essential goods-laden trucks from one district to another in lockdown areas.

Bus, passenger train, launch services suspended

With a strict lockdown imposed in seven nearby districts, long-haul buses are not being allowed to enter Dhaka city as part of emergency measures to contain the transmission of Covid-19.

Buses were being diverted and passengers dropped off before the Gabtoli bridge at the inter-district bus terminal and Amin Bazar bus stop yesterday morning, reports Bangla Tribune.

Vehicles for emergency service were being allowed to pass through.

The Cabinet Ministry in a circular on Monday said Manikganj, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Gazipur, Madaripur, Rajbari and Gopalganj would go into strict lockdown from 6am today to midnight on June 30. 

Cabinet Ministry Deputy Secretary (Field Administration Coordination Branch) Rezaul Islam said these specific districts were chosen with the aim of protecting Dhaka.

The authorities suspended train services on several routes from yesterday as strict restrictions have been enforced in some districts to stem the spread of coronavirus, reports UNB.

According to a notice issued by the Railways Ministry, train services by the Gazipur-Turag Express and Kaliakair Commuter Train were suspended from 6am yesterday for nine days.

Besides, services of Tungipara Express train on the Gopalganj-Rajshahi route , Nakshikatha Express on Khulna-Rajbari route, and Rajbari Express train on Rajbari-Bhanga-Rajbari route were also suspended.

The authorities also suspended the movement of all types of passenger vessels in Narayanganj, Gazipur, Munshiganj, Manikganj, Madaripur, Rajbari and Gopalganj from yesterday morning to curb the spread of Covid-19 in these districts.

Rail communication between Dhaka city and other parts of the country was suspended from midnight yesterday, Sardar Shahadat Ali, additional director general (operations) of Bangladesh Railway, told Dhaka Tribune 

He said the suspension was only applicable for passenger trains and would continue till June 30.

Khulna’s infection rate still out of control

Khulna division saw another deadly day due to the coronavirus pandemic, recording 27 more deaths and 998 infections in the 24 hours till 8am yesterday.

The 27 fatalities were reported in seven districts of the division, raising the death toll to 864, said Dr Rasheda Sultana, divisional director of health.

Among the new fatalities, nine are in Khulna, five in Kushtia, four each in Bagerhat and Jessore, three in Narail and two in Meherpur in the division.

The district-wise breakdown of these deaths currently stands at 220 in Khulna, 162 in Kushtia, 113 in Jessore, 74 in Chuadanga, , 70 in Bagerhat, 68 in Jhenaidah, 62 in Satkhira, 35 each in Meherpur and Narail and 25 in Magura.

The infection rate in Khulna division was 44.83% yesterday. 

Satkhira’s Covid-19 Dedicated Medical College Hospital admitted 254 patients yesterday. Another 136 people were admitted to six clinics with Covid-19 or symptoms of the virus. 

Among them, 41 have tested positive. Six people were undergoing treatment in home isolation.

Khulna Civil Surgeon Dr Niaz Morshed told Dhaka Tribune that Khulna Medical College Hospital had the capacity to take care of 150 Covid-19 patients and all the beds were occupied. 

“There are 70 beds for Covid-19 patients in the Khulna Sadar Hospital and 25 of those are occupied already. If the situation gets worse, we will have to dedicate more hospital beds for Covid-19 patients,” he said. 

He also said health workers in Khulna could not do much if people kept flouting health guidelines and the infection rate kept going up.  

Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH) on Tuesday recorded 13 more Covid-related deaths in 24 hours, reports UNB. 

Among them, five had tested positive for Covid-19, while the remaining showed symptoms of the virus, said hospital director Brigadier General Shamim Yeazdani.

Of the deceased, 12 were from Rajsahi district and the other from Natore.

A total of 229 people have died at the Covid-19 unit of RMCH in the last 21 days, officials said.

In Rangpur, the infection rate was 34.58% on Sunday.

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