Monday, September 27

Covid-19: Increasing infection rate in Dhaka raises alarm

Recent genome sequencing by the icddr,b has found that the Delta variant has already reached the capital

The test positivity rate in Dhaka city has been increasing recently, raising alarms that it may once again have to go into a strict lockdown as in April last year.

The health authorities have already expressed their worry over the rising infection rate and said the government had been forced to isolate Dhaka for the next nine days as a countermeasure. The Cabinet Ministry has brought seven districts, four of them surrounding the capital and three nearby, under strict lockdown.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the test positivity in Dhaka currently was 11.73%, as compared to just 3.45% only 15 days ago.

Dr Nazmul Islam, a spokesperson for the DGHS, on Sunday said the authorities were worried about the increasing case positivity rate in the capital.

Besides, the test positivity rate in Faridpur, Tangail and Noakhali is also increasing. People regularly travel to Dhaka through these districts.

Recent genome sequencing by the icddr,b has found that the Delta variant has already reached the capital.

According to the DGHS, Faridpur has maintained a test positivity rate from 26-46.81% for the last eight days. The positivity rate in the last 24 hours was 43.93%.

Noakhali has had a case positivity rate of over 20% for the last eight days. Tangail has maintained a case positivity rate of over 33% in the same period.

Dr Farid Hossain Mia, director (hospital) of DGHS, told Dhaka Tribune that the situation in the city was yet to go out of control and the number of patients was still on the low side.

“We have already started receiving patients from outside Dhaka. If the situation deteriorates in Dhaka, we will have to tackle the situation as we did in April this year or hospitals may become overwhelmed,” he said.

He said the DGHS had already increased its health facilities significantly, and there was little scope to extend it further right now.

“There are several medical college hospitals where construction work is ongoing and some upazila and district hospitals could be turned into Covid hospitals. These are the only options,” he said.

The DGHS had already accelerated the construction of health facilities outside Dhaka to make them usable as soon as possible. If they are completed, patients might not have to come to the capital, he hoped.

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