Dhaka, April 17 : Bangladesh reported a record number of deaths on Sunday from Covid-19 yet again, with 102 people dying of the disease over a 24 hour period, as authorities grapple with shortages of vaccines, treatments and hospital beds.
The country recorded more than 100 Covid-19 deaths in a single day for the third-straight day until Sunday morning amid the nationwide lockdown. The new fatalities took the total Covid-19 death toll to 10,385.
However, the daily infection rate fell to a still very high 19.06% from Saturday’s 21.46% while the mortality rate remained static at 1.44%, the Directorate General of Health Services said.
Covid-19 cases rose by 3,698 to reach a total of 718,950. However, 614,936 people – 85.53% of all patients – have recovered so far.
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8 last year and the first death on the 18th of that month.
Vicious second wave
Having let its guard down with social gatherings, political rallies and crowds at tourist spots, Bangladesh is experiencing a vicious second wave, recording 1,339 deaths and 104,182 new cases during April 1-18.
More people tested positive in the last 20 days, than in the last ten months.
The virus claimed 568 lives in January this year, 281 in February and 638 in March.
At least 160,000 people tested positive in the past one and a half months, after just 15,000 in the one and a half months before that. The number of patients increased ten times and the death toll surged too.
Experts have raised concerns about the spread of more contagious and deadlier variants of the disease.
81% of victims above 50
Of the latest victims, 59 are men and 43 are women.
Sixty-three out of the 101 victims are above the age of 60. So far, 7,694 men and 2,691 women have died from the virus.
Dhaka has recorded 58.24 %of the fatalities with 68 deaths, followed by Chattogram’s 18.04 %fatality rate with 22 deaths.
Bangladeshi hospitals are now struggling to cope, running short of beds and oxygen. On Sunday morning, 101 ICU beds were available in the country.
There are 11,201 general beds for Covid-19 patients and 5,721 of them are currently occupied.
However, the 1,000-bed Covid-19 hospital at Dhaka North City Corporation’s Mohakhali market was launched on Sunday.
The dedicated hospital will have a 212-bed ICU, 250-bed high dependency unit, an emergency unit with 50 beds, and 438 isolated high care rooms for patients.
There are growing calls for officials to speed up Bangladesh’s vaccination programme as hospitals are swamped with patients.
The country has so far inoculated 5,714,090 people with the first dose of the vaccine and 1,366,609 with the second doses.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s vaccine supplier India has shifted from being a mass vaccine exporter to a major importer in the heat of the latest wave of infections, reports UNB.