At the outset of the pandemic, the spread of coronavirus was seen mostly in and around the capital city Dhaka and Chattogram. Covid was detected mostly in the big cities. But now, particularly after Eid-ul-Fitr, the virus has been spreading in the north and southwest regions. Coronavirus is even spreading in the villages now.
Stringent measures have led to the virus transmission to lessen somewhat in Chapainawabganj. But the number of corona cases is increasing in the adjacent areas. Over the past few days it has been noted that alongside North Bengal, Covid-19 cases have begun spiraling in Khulna division as well.
In the past week (13 to 19 June), 395 persons have died of coronavirus in the country and one-fourth of these deaths were in Khulna division. In that week, 21.27 per cent of the deaths were in this district. Previously, the death rates had been highest in Dhaka and Chattogram divisions.
The spread of coronavirus is increasing in almost all districts of Khulna division, particularly in Khulna, Jashore, Satkhira, Jhenaidah, Bagerhat, Kushtia and Chuadanga.
Assistant director (disease control) of the Khulna health directorate Ferdousi Akhter told Prothom Alo that for a week now, the rate of detection has been vacillating between 35 to 40 per cent. Unless the health guidelines are stringently followed, the situation will deteriorate.
With the number of corona cases spiraling, the 130-bed single hospital in the district dedicated to coronavirus, is coming under increasing pressure. For two weeks, there have been more patients turning up for admission than there are beds. Under the circumstances, the 70-bed Khulna sadar hospital has also been transformed into a corona-dedicated one. However, while it has oxygen supply, it does not have ICU facilities. Its ICU facilities may be opened today, Sunday. And the district will come under stern lockdown from Tuesday in order to control the spread of the virus.
The Khulna deputy commissioner and head of the Khulna district committee of the prevention of coronavirus Mohammad Helal Hossain said that a public notice would soon be issued concerning a strict lockdown. And in order to enforce compulsory wearing of masks, a mobile court would impose fines only one breaking this rule. Health and hygiene regulations would be stepped up and people would be discouraged from going out unless essential.
The first coronavirus patient in the country was detected on 8 March last year. The second coronavirus wave started from March this year.
After Eid this year, new coronavirus cases began to steadily increase from the 63rd week of the pandemic (16-22 May). Corona deaths began to increase from the 65th week (30 May-5 June).
According to division records, over the past three days the corona detection rate in Rajshahi has been below 20 per cent. But in Rangpur division it has been around 30 per cent. However, the testing and number of patients here has been relatively lower. Taking the entire country into consideration, over the past two days the rate of detection has been over 18 per cent.
Advisor to the government’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Mushtaq Hussain, told Prothom Alo that the infection is increasing in almost all districts. Around Dhaka, it is on an increase in Faridpur, Tangail and Kishoreganj. It is taking the shape of yet another wave. The manner in which it is increasing calls for restrictions on transport movement again, otherwise the situation may turn worse than before.
(The correspondents of Khulna and Rajshahi contribute to the compilation of this report.)