It is feared that coronavirus transmission may rise during winter. The second wave that already hit several countries in Europe and America. There are media reports for at least 3 weeks with news of partial or regional lockdown in Italy, Spain, UK, USA and Canada due to the second wave of coronavirus infections. Infections have increased in India and Pakistan too. It will be no surprise if the infections increase in Bangladesh during the winter.
The daily update about coronavirus cases shows an increasing trend. The ratio of the infections with the number of tests has been increasing for three weeks. The average rate of infected patients was 12.06 per cent in the week from 8 to 14 November. It was the highest number of infections in nine weeks. The rate was 12.82 per cent on Wednesday, according to the government’s daily news bulletin. As many as 2,111 cases were detected after testing 16,469 samples in 24 hours.
The rate surpassed 13 per cent two days ago, indicating that the infection has started increasing again. It cannot be said the second wave has begun in Bangladesh though. We have to observe the infection graph for another few days to be confirmed.
There is a huge shortcoming in the treatment especially in ICU facilities and availability of oxygen outside Dhaka. This matter must be addressed.
But the tests to detect the infection has reduced so much that it is quite difficult to determine the actual picture of the infection in the country now. Therefore the number of tests should be increased. There are 117 private and government test centres in the country. The question is why is the number of samples not being increased when so many test centres are operating? Sample collection is reduced, too. Naturally, if less samples are collected, less tests will be conducted. The government has to put emphasis on more sample collection.
The problem is, the people seem to be accustomed with the pandemic. Many of the patients are not going for tests despite showing symptoms including fever, flu and sore throat. Neither is the Directorate General of Health Services wishing to increase the number of tests. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has put utmost importance on increasing tests in combatting coronavirus, but we failed to pay due consideration to this. That is why an accurate record of the number of coronavirus cases in the country has not been determined.
The highly contagious disease remains dangerous for us. Many experts apprehended that the infections might become more fatal. The death rate may also increase during the winter along with rise in the infections. It is high time to encourage people to take the tests.
The government must pay attention to improving the quality of COVID-19 treatment. There is a huge shortcoming in the treatment especially in ICU facilities and availability of oxygen outside Dhaka. This matter must be addressed.