Online Desk : Health Minister Zahid Maleque has warned that the pressure of coronavirus patients on Bangladesh’s hospitals will increase within five to seven days as new cases continue to surge.
Some of those being infected now will go to hospitals for treatment, and infections will soar further if people do not become alert, leading the hospitals to face difficulties in giving space to all the patients, the minister said at an event in Dhaka to distribute ambulances and computers among hospitals on Wednesday.
“We assume that 5 percent of the patients need hospitalisation. Patients have already started coming to the hospitals. We will see many patients at the hospitals in the next five to seven days.
“A painful situation will happen then with increased pressure on the hospitals, doctors and nurses. There will be problems in securing beds and the mortality rate will rise,” Maleque warned.
A wave of coronavirus cases fuelled by the delta variant of the coronavirus put Bangladesh’s healthcare system on the brink of collapse in mid-2021, with the daily count of cases crossing 16,000 and more than 250 deaths from COVID-19 in a day.
After the detection of highly infectious omicron variant in the country, the caseload is surging fast again. In the 24 hours to 8 am on Wednesday, the government reported 2,916 coronavirus cases, the highest daily count since Sept 3, 2021, and a 19 percent rise over Tuesday’s count.
Although studies showed omicron is less severe than delta and likely to cause fewer hospitalisations, a record number of cases has overwhelmed Europe’s hospitals, with the health workers among the infected.
Maleque said the government has prepared 20,000 beds for the coronavirus patients and is preparing 20,000 more. “But if the number of patients reaches 100,000, where will they stay? The fatality rate is still low because of vaccines, but we will be in a tight spot if infections increase threefold or fourfold.”
He said the government will begin enforcing its new set of instructions to keep the coronavirus pandemic in check on Thursday. “It means all sorts of social, political and religious gatherings will be stopped or discouraged. Masks must be ensured everywhere. If someone does not wear a mask, he or she will be fined or jailed by a mobile court. Please do not get on a public transport without a mask.”