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Health crisis deepens in border districts

Many hospitals in the districts along the border are at full capacity as they are grappling with an increasing number of Covid-19 patients.

There is hardly any bed for new Covid patients in at least five hospitals in Satkhira, Khulna, Natore, Rajshahi and Panchagarh. These hospitals have been turning away patients for the past few days.

Besides, the number of daily new cases has increased across the country.

For the 24 hours preceding 8:00am yesterday, the Directorate General of Health Services reported 2,576 new cases, the highest daily cases since April 28. The DGHS said 40 people died in the same period, which was 36 the previous day.

The positivity rate has also gone up. It was 13.25 yesterday from 12.33 the day before.

With the new cases, the total number of active Covid-19 cases rose to around 50,000. Of them, 3,200 were being treated at hospitals, according to a press release from the DGHS.

The official death toll in the country has reached 12,989 and the death rate stood at 1.58 percent.

Of those who were reported dead yesterday, the highest -- 12 -- were in Chattogram division, followed by eight each in Dhaka and Rajshahi, and six in Khulna, four in Rangpur and two in Sylhet.

Hospitals overburdened

With no bed available, the authorities of Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) stopped admitting patients in its 100-bed Covid-19 unit, reported our correspondent in the city.

As of yesterday afternoon, 126 patients were admitted there.

"We're at capacity. There is no empty bed and that's why we stopped taking in new patients," said Resident Medical Officer Suhash Ranjan Halder of the Covid-19 unit at KMCH.

"Doctors and nurses are always struggling to handle the rush of critical patients. If we admit any more patients, we won't be able to properly treat the critical ones," he said.

Our correspondent from Natore reported that the district hospital was in a similar situation.

Besides, the hospital does not have a central oxygen supply system to provide high flow oxygen to patients, who have been gasping for oxygen.

Yesterday afternoon, there were 43 Covid-19 patients against 30 beds in this hospital, which was struggling with an inadequate number of physicians and technicians, said Assistant Director Paritosh Kumar.

Our correspondent from Chapainawabganj reported that the 250-bed district hospital had 55 Covid patients admitted yesterday afternoon against its capacity to treat 50.

As the number of patients was increasing, the hospital authorities were thinking about raising the bed number to 70, said Dr Ahnaf Shahriar, focal person of the Covid-19 unit of the hospital.

Our Thakurgaon correspondent reported the district hospital, with a 50-bed Covid unit, cannot provide ventilator support to critical patients.

"We have a limited capacity to treat patients. So we are advising patients to follow our treatment protocols at home," Dr Rokibul Alam, resident medical officer at the hospital, told the Daily Star yesterday.

Meanwhile, the administrations of Khulna, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Bagerhat and Noakhali districts continued enforcing strict restrictions on movement to curb the virus transmission.

[Source: The Daily Stars, Bangladesh, 11Jun21]

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