The number of cases surges in Gazipur, with the infection rate reaching around 20 percent there
Additional Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Professor Dr Nasima Sultana said on Monday the nation was in a great crisis.
"The number of infected people today (Monday) is higher than usual. We have tested 2,779 samples across the country and 492 more patients were diagnosed with Covid-19.
"The total number of cases is now 2,948. Also, another 10 patients have died," she told an online briefing.
Professor Nasima said the number of cases had surged in Gazipur, with the infection rate reaching around 20 percent there.
She said infection rate was 15.5 percent in Kishoreganj and six percent in Narsingdi.
Coronavirus tests are done in 19 labs across the country at present. The number of tests has increased in the last few days but has not yet reached the 3,000/day-mark.
Experts said tests should be increased further.
Professor Ridwanur Rahman, head of the research centre at Universal Medical College, told The Business Standard there should be more than 20,000 tests per day if the authorities want to lift the lockdown.
"If we can reach that number, we can immediately isolate a patient living anywhere in the country. Only then will the virus not spread further," he explained.
Professor Nazrul Islam, noted Virologist and former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, also said testing capacity should be increased a lot.
He said the low number of cases outside Dhaka should not be a cause for pleasure. "We should do more tests to get the real picture."
Professor Nazrul also said a task force should be formed to take prompt measures as Dhaka has more cases.
He said the situation would worsen if death rate could not be brought down and safety of healthcare workers could not be ensured.
We should emphasise hospital management if we want to decrease Covid-19 deaths, he said.
"Patients can be saved if they do not get good treatment in hospital. On the other hand, doctors have to be provided with personal protective equipment if we want to save them," the physician explained.
He said doctors were getting infected for wearing fake personal protective equipment.
"To date, 170 doctors have contracted the virus. Why should it be like this? Why were not they given proper personal protective equipment?" said Nazrul.
"It has been said that patients are hiding information and thus are responsible for infecting doctors. But doctors would not have been infected had they worn quality personal protective equipment," he added.
492 new cases, 10 new deaths
In the last 24 hours (from 8am Sunday to 8am Monday), 492 new cases were found, the highest one-day infection figure so far.
Also, 10 people died during this period, causing the death toll to exceed 100 in 33 days.
Among the 10 new deaths, eight are men and two women. Five of them were from Dhaka, four from Narayanganj and the other from Narsingdi.
Four of the 10 were over 60 years old. Also, four were between 51 and 60, and the remaining two from 41 to 50.
Moreover, in the last 24 hours, 10 patients recovered, bringing the total number to 85.
More healthcare workers getting infected
Infections among healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, are also on the rise. So far, one doctor has died and 170 have been infected.
Also, over 60 healthcare workers, including nurses and technologists, have been infected.
The number of healthcare workers going into quarantine is rising every day.
Hospitals asked to form 3 teams to work in turn
The health directorate, meanwhile, has asked hospitals to make three teams of healthcare workers that will work for 10 days at a stretch in turns in a bid to reduce the risk of Covid-19 exposure among all workers at a time.
The directive came in a notice on Sunday.
The teams will include the same number of professors, consultants, experts, medical officers, nurses and other service providers.
Every team will do their duty for 10 days at a stretch in two or three shifts, meaning they have to work for 10 or eight hours every day.
After completing their 10-day duty, they will stay in a 14-day quarantine in hotels. After the quarantine period is over, they can spend the next six days with family members.