Health facilities may become overwhelmed if infections are not brought under control, government officials say
The Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh has been spiralling out of control since the emergence of the Delta variant in April, and July is proving to be a particularly devastating month.
According to data from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), both the number of infections and deaths are on course to triple by the end of July as compared to June.
In all of June, Bangladesh recorded 112,718 infections and 1,884 deaths from Covid-19.
On the other hand, in the first 20 days of July, the country has already recorded a whopping 215,631 infections and 3,882 deaths.
On average, about 63 deaths from Covid-19 were recorded each day in June, as compared to 194 in July.
Amid the deteriorating coronavirus situation, the government resumed countrywide vaccine registration on July 8.
Dr Robed Amin, spokesperson on Covid-19 management for the DGHS, said they fear the number of infections and deaths will spike even higher after the Eid-ul-Azha on Thursday, due to rampant breaches of health guidelines during the holiday rush home.
Hospitals are already struggling to cope with the pressure of Covid-19 patients, and further increases in the infection rate may lead to health facilities becoming overwhelmed, the DGHS official added.
According to the DGHS, 1,417 out of 3,755 general beds and 48 out of 393 intensive care units (ICUs) at dedicated Covid-19 government hospitals in Dhaka were unoccupied as of Tuesday. At private healthcare facilities in the capital, 597 out of 1,962 general beds and 100 out of 485 ICUs were available on the day.
At government hospitals across the country, 3,671 out of 9,830 general beds and 106 out of 413 ICUs were unoccupied on Tuesday.
DGHS Director (Hospitals) Dr Farid Uddin Miah last week told Dhaka Tribune they had urged local health authorities to increase Covid-19 treatment facilities as much as possible, but there is little scope for further expansion following the government’s efforts over the past year.
Our correspondents in Barishal, Khulna and Rajshahi have confirmed that local health authorities were attempting to increase Covid-19 treatment facilities, due to the pressure of patients.