Several public health experts expressed concern over the country’s Covid-19 situation. The Covid-19 national technical advisory committee said the spread of the virus has gone out of control.

Covid situation getting worse

WHO said Bangladesh’s 40 districts are at risk whereas the Covid-19 national technical advisory committee said a higher rate of infection has prevailed in more than 50 districts. Community transmission of Delta variants has also been detected in the country and such transmission has highly transmission capacity.

Public health expert Mushtuq Husain told Prothom Alo, “The rate of detection was more or less 20 per cent for the last several days. The transmission isn’t concentrated in one certain place and it has been spiking. If movement is controlled in risky areas, transmission will hopefully decrease after two or three weeks.”

WHO has cited coronavirus’ four VOCs -- Alpha variant, originating from the UK, Beta from South Africa, Gamma from Brazil and Delta variant from India -- as cause for concern. According to WHO epidemiological analysis, Alpha, Beta and Delta variants are spreading in Bangladesh. These three variants have higher transmission capacity. Patients with Alpha variants of coronavirus have higher risk of death as they have acute symptom and require hospitalisation.

Meanwhile, there continues to be a shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients. According to DGHS, no intensive care unit (ICU) bed was vacant at the capital’s six designated hospitals for Covid-19 treatment on Thursday. Pressure on general beds has also increased. More Covid-19 patients were admitted than the number of beds at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, Thakurgaon Adhunik Sadar Hospital, Khulna Medical College Hospital and Kushtia General Hospital.

A senior physician of a big hospital in the capital told this correspondent on Thursday afternoon that patients with Covid-19 symptoms increased at the hospital’s outdoor department over the last three days.

Similarly, the number of hospital admissions had also increased. Several patients who received two doses of vaccines have been admitted to the hospital too, an official of DGHS said.

Global situation

The World Health Organization releases a Covid-19 weekly epidemiological update on six regions of the world. The latest issue said last week (14-20 June 2021) saw the lowest weekly case incidence since February 2021. Overall infection declined in four regions and rose in the Eastern Mediterranean and the African regions. The weekly update contains data on three countries from each region.

The African region reported a 39 per cent and a 3 per cent increase in new cases and deaths respectively compared to the previous week. South Africa, Zambia and Uganda reported increased infections and deaths. Uganda reported a 314 per cent increase in deaths. In America region, Brazil and Colombia reported a rise in new cases and new deaths and Argentina recorded a significant drop.

Half of the countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region saw an increase in new cases and new deaths. Iran reported an 11 per cent increase in new cases and a 3 per cent decline in new deaths. Iraq reported a 12 per cent increase in infection and the United Arab Emirates recorded a four per cent decrease. Besides, Afghanistan reported a 56 per cent increase in deaths.

The European region reports were similar to the global situation with a 6 per cent and a 12 per cent decrease in new cases and new deaths respectively. Russia and the UK reported a significant rise in new cases while Turkey recorded a decrease. Deaths rose in Russia and decreased in Germany and Turkey.

In the Western Pacific region, Mongolia recorded increased new cases while Malaysia and the Philippines reported a decline. Malaysia, Japan and the Philippines recorded the lowest rate of deaths.

The South-East Asia region reported a 21 and a 26 per cent decrease in new cases and new deaths respectively in the past week. Neighbouring Myanmar reported increased cases and India recorded decreased deaths.

WHO said variants of coronavirus will continue to emerge over time. Public health, social measures and vaccines for all must be in place against the current variants -- Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants.

Director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) professor Tahmina Shirin told Prothom Alo, “Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands with soap regularly without waiting for the vaccine. Social distancing must be maintained.”

This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Hasanul Banna

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