Covid infections spreading countrywide

Our Correspondents

Coronavirus has claimed 43 lives on Friday. Some 2,454 new cases were detected across the country in 24 hours till Friday morning. However, the situation gets worsened all over the country as the deadly virus is being swept with its second wave. The worst affected areas are Rajshahi, Chapai Nawabganj, Naogaon, Kushtia, Jashore and Shatkhira.

Our Rajshahi Correspondent Sarker Shariful Islam reported that coronavirus infections have been increasing alarmingly in Rajshahi since after the observance of the Eid-ul-Fitr.  

The rate of infection after testing samples is around 50 percent in Rajshahi district. The pressure of Covid-19 patients is mounting while the death rate in the region is also high.

Despite such a worsening situation, awareness among the people of Rajshahi to follow the health rules has not been increased at all, officials concerned said. 

After visiting several places of the district, it was seen that people were moving without masks and not following any health rules. 

Visitors, patients and staff at several hospitals were seen roaming at the hospital compounds without wearing masks.

According to sources, due to an abnormal increase in coronavirus infections, Rajshahi district has been brought under special rules and restrictions from Thursday evening (June 3).

Law enforcement agency members were also seen active to enforce the rules. 

People continued to crowd the roads, markets, offices and road crossings from Sunday morning. The jam of vehicles, mainly auto rickshaws, was noticed in Shaheb Bazaar area. All city shops are open, but many people were not caring to follow any health rules. More than 25 percent of people were seen to move without wearing any masks.

Around 12:00 noon yesterday, an employee of Rajshahi City Corporation was seen to announce through a hand mike to become aware of the Coronavirus and to wear masks in front of RDA Market of Shaheb Bazar. But the person who was making the announcement was not seen to wear a mask properly. Most of the salesmen at the garment shops at RDA market were seen without any masks though most of the customers there seemed to wear masks. 

Inside Rajshahi Medical College Hospital a worker was seen to pull the trolley of a patient. Both the trolley puller and the patient have no masks on their faces. Many attendants of the patients were also seen to move without wearing masks or hanging their masks on their chins.

Meanwhile, with the alarming increase of the Coronavirus infection and detection of nearly 50 percent of Corona positives cases after testing samples of the patients, leaders of 14- party alliance have submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Rajshahi Abdul Jalil demanding to impose a ‘strict lockdown’ in Rajshahi on June 5. The leaders also mentioned in the memorandum to ensure ‘food security’ for the low-income group of people before imposing the strict lockdown.  

The memorandum further mentioned that the Coronavirus situation has been deteriorated badly in Rajshahi during last one month and the new records of death and infection are continuing to grow and to check this increasing infection by the Coronavirus and the death, there is no alternative but to impose a strict lockdown throughout Rajshahi district.  

 Our Chapainawabganj Correspondent, Zarif Hossain, reported that Covid-19 infection has been regaining momentum in border regions.

Rate of Covid-19 infection has spiked up at border adjacent districts from last week. With the infection rate rising up, several districts are struggling with new infected patients due to shortage of equipment and facilities. 

Media officer of Chapainawabganj Corona Dedicated Unit Dr Ahnaf Shahriar said that 20 beds were added to the 30- bed Covid-19 Unit. A total of 47 patients are being treated now at Covid-19 Unit.

Chapainawabganj district administration imposed lockdown for 7 days from May 25 to reduce the rate of Covid-19 infection. After the first phase of lockdown, district administration again imposed lockdown.  

Our Naogaon Correspondent Babul Akhter reported that hospitals in Naogaon are suffering from equipment shortage. As Naogaon has become the hotspot of Covid-19, the rate of infection is increasing heavily in the district. Despite being one of the most infected areas, hospitals are struggling to treat the increasing stream of patients.

After visiting several hospitals, this correspondent found out that   only 3 upazilas out of 11 upazilas in Naogaon have high-flow oxygen supply facility.  There are only two ICU beds at Naogaon Sadar Hospitals which are not operational yet. As Naogaon cannot provide ICU facilities, all the ICU patients have to be transferred to Bogura or Rajshahi. But due to the poor ambulance facilities, many patients get into worse condition during being transferred into other hospitals.

 Authorities have already declared Naogaon as hotspot for Covid-19 infection as infection rate is increasing rapidly at Niamatpur, Porsha, Sapahar, Patnitala and Dhamraihat upazilas.

Sabbir Hossain from Naogaon said that he admitted his father to Naogaon Sadar hospital on June 1. As condition of the patient got worse, doctors are referring the patient to be transferred to Bogura or Rajshahi Medical College. 

Naogaon Civil Surgeon Dr ABM Abu Hanif said that infection rate in Naogaon is increasing rapidly. To reduce the infection rate, all commercial transportation and communication should be restricted. As two of the ICU beds are not operational yet, patients are being referred to Bogura and Rajshahi.  

Naogaon Deputy Commissioner Harun-Ur-Rashid said that all transport communications with Chapainawabganj have been restricted as the infection rate increased in that district. But due to the negligence of people, the rate is still increasing. Mobile courts are increasing the drives to curb down the movement, he added.

Our Kushtia Correspondent Iftana Yesmin also reported that Kushtia lacks facilities to treat Covid-19 patients as only 36 beds are dedicated to Covid-19 patients at 250-bed Kushtia General Hospital. 47 patients are taking treatment at Covid-19 ward while others have to stay on floor due to the lack of beds.

Though doctors and nurses are on 24/7 duty shift, patients complained that most of the doctors are not entering the ward, rather they tend to talk to the patients via mobile phone and giving online treatment. 35 volunteers of Kushtia Chhatra League are helping out the doctors and nurses at Covid-19 unit in Kushtia.  

Hospital administrator Abdul Momen said that 600 patients are currently being treated at this 250-bed hospital. Though they have enough doctors and nurses, lack of bigger infrastructure has become a big obstacle for them. 

5149 patients have been diagnosed with Covid-19 till June 5 at Kushtia. Out of those patients, 119 have died.  

Our Jashore Correspondent Rahul Roy reports, “The Covid-19 infection rate in the border district of Jashore is on the rise. Due to the shortage of manpower, the doctors and nurses of the 250-bed Jashore General Hospital are struggling to provide medical services to these patients. However, the hope remains as there is no shortage of medical equipment in the district at the moment.”

Meanwhile, there is fear in the minds of the people as 15 individuals were identified with the Indian variant of the virus till Monday.

According to the Department of Health, Jashore district is at high risk of Covid infection. Last May, the average detection rate in the district was 18 percent. However, the rate started to increase to around 30 percent. 

District Civil Surgeon Dr. Sheikh Abu Shahin told Bangladesh Post that the first Covid patient was identified in the district on April 13, 2020. Since then, till Monday 7 thousand 426 Covid patients have been identified in the district, of which, 82 have died. During this time 34 thousand 912 people have been tested. 6 thousand 613 people have recovered.

Meanwhile, 56 patients with the virus were admitted to the General Hospital, the only medical center for Covid patients, in the district on Monday. Moreover, 26 more people were admitted to the yellow zone. Among these patients 25 came from India through Benapole immigration.  One person was admitted to the currently available 3 bed ICU unit. The corona unit of this hospital consists of 80 beds.

Jashore General Hospital caretaker Akhtaruzzaman told Bangladesh Post that 22 Corona patients have been admitted to the hospital in the last three days. New patients are constantly coming to the hospital. Doctors and workers in other sectors with staff shortages have to work extra. However, there is no shortage of medical equipment at the moment, he said.

Due to the increase in Covid-19 infection, restrictions have been imposed in several areas of Jashore, Jhikargachha and Abhaynagar. 

Member of the district corona prevention committee, additional district magistrate Kazi MD Sayemuzzaman told Bangladesh Post that all possible measures have been taken to strictly enforce the existing restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading. In particular, public movement has been restricted by identifying several high transition areas including Benapole border, Abhaynagar, Jhikargachha and Jessore. Moreover, by monitoring the situation, necessary actions are ready to be taken to prevent the virus from spreading.

Our Satkhira Correspondent Moshiur Rahman Firoz reported that the manpower crisis has intensified at the Corona dedicated hospitals in Satkhira due to the sudden rise of corona cases recently. 

Medical crisis has arisen due to the overcrowding of patients. Although the patient pressure can be managed with limited manpower, if the manpower is not increased in the near future, the medical system will face a big disaster. 

On Thursday, samples from 211 people were tested and 111 corona positives were identified. The detection rate is 52.60 percent. The day before, 48 people tested positive for corona out of 95 tested ones. The infection rate was 50.53 percent that day. 

So far 2,256 people have been infected with corona infection in the district.