With 21 more deaths , Bangladesh’s Covid fatalities tally rose to 349 in the last 24 hours, the highest in a day cycle so far , said the the country’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Monday.
Besides, 1, 602 people tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours raising the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 23,870, said Prof Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general of DGHS ..
As 212 patients recovered in last 24 hours, the total recovery reached 4,585, Dr Nasima Sultana added.
Another member of the Bangladesh Police died from coronavirus at a Dhaka city hospital on Monday .
Bangladesh reported its first C-19 case on March 8 while first death on March 18.
A senior Bank official of the state-owned Sonali Bank has died of COVID-19 infection in Comilla.
Mahbub Elahi, senior principal officer at the bank’s Motijheel branch in Dhaka , breathed his last at his own home on Sunday night.
Sonali Bank officials told that 29 other officials of the bank are also diagnosed COVID-19 positive.
Seven are from Rangpur Bazar branch, six from Munshiganj’s Gazaria branch, two each from Dhaka’s corporate branch and wage earners’ corporate branch, among others.
According to his colleagues, Mahbub went to his Comilla residence on 7 May as he started showing symptoms of COVID-19. He was tested positive for the virus on 10th of May and underwent treatment at the Comilla Medical College Hospital for some days, they said.
Mahbub came back to his home from the hospital and was staying there, they added.
The bank official is survived by his wife and a one-month old daughter who are now staying in India’s Chennai for treatment.
Four bank officials have so far died of Coronavirus.
9 cops died from the covid-19 disease
Sub Inspector of Police Mojibur Rahman, (56), a member of Special Branch’s City Special Branch Paltan Zone-1, died around 8:50am on Monday ,while undergoing treatment at the Rajarbagh Central Police Hospital.
With his death, a total of 9 policemen have died from the Covid-19 disease.
Another 46 policemen recovered from coronavirus.
Said assistant inspector general (AIG) of police headquarters (media) Md Sohel Rana .
All the 46 policemen tested twice and their results appeared negative before their release from the hospital.
With the recovery of the 46 police personnel, more than two hundred policemen have recovered from the disease.
Additional superintendent of police (administration) of Rajarbagh Central Police Hospital Md Saiful Islam Santu said the policemen were greeted with flowers while they were leaving the hospital.
4 Journalists Die, Unions issued a 12-point demand
Meanwhile, the apex body of journalist unions across the country, BFUJ, demanded compensation of at least Taka 50 lakh for every joutrnalist who died of Covid-19 and support the treatment of those infected by employers, blasting the media owners’ apparent apathy towards the victims.
Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) along with its main affiliate Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) issued a statement on May 9 following an emergency meeting .
They said the Covid-19 so far killed three newsmen and infected over 100 others but until now they received little support from their employers.
The unions issued a 12-point demand asking for appropriate compensations for the media workers, who died
all financial supports for the coronavirus-infected journalists alongside payment of all outstanding dues including festival allowance ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr the biggest festival of Muslim community .
They expressed indignation against the role of two employers’ forums Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) and Association of Television Chanel Owners (ATCO), saying that they even failed to issue a statement to condoling deaths of the Covid-19-infcted newsmen to show a gesture of sympathy.
The statement also criticized the role of Editors Council as even several mainstream media also fired many of their newsmen and workers during the pandemic.
“If the mass media owners fail to ensure newsmen’s health protection, pay their outstanding wages and allowances and attempt to retrench workers during this crisis period, the (journalists) union will be forced to opt for tough stance like work stoppage,” the statement warned.
It added that if any journalist dies of Covid-19, the concerned employer would have to give at least Taka 50 lakh cash to the victim family as compensation.
“The union will extend their all-out supports to affected newsmen’s family members if they sue the media owners for declining to shoulder their responsibilities and ensure protection of journalists and media workers,” the statement said.
BFUJ President Molla Jalal and Secretary General Shaban Mahmud, and DUJ President Quddus Afrad and General Secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu issued signed the statement after the meeting at Jatiya National Press Club (JPC) with Jalal in the chair.
Chittagong :Spreading C-19
Three hospitals in Chittagong are overcrowded with COVID-19 patients, with no room at all for new patients, said the authorities in the specialised hospitals.
The hospital authorities have been informing new patients that they can be admitted to the hospitals only once beds are available.
Asim Kumar Nath, the superintendent of Chittagong General Hospital, known as ‘COVID-19 Hospital’, has expressed inability to admit new patients. “If someone recovers and returns home, only then we will be able to admit a new patient,” he told on Monday to Easternlink.
To tackle the situation, the skin disease ward on the ground floor of Chittagong Medical College Hospital has been dedicated for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, which was approved by the government. Patient admission in that ward will begin in the next 5 to 6 days. The ward has a capacity for maximum 100 patients.
Every day 70 to 80 new patients are being diagnosed with coronavirus in Chittagong city and other parts of the district. Last Saturday night, the number of patients in Chittagong increased by 67 rising the total number to 783.
The number of patients in Chittagong division is 1 thousand 6 hundred 16. Of these, 100 in Chittagong city and 305 in the division recovered and returned home. A total of 36 people died of the virus in Chittagong while 59 people died in the whole division. The rest of the patients are being treated at the hospital or at home.
At present, Dhaka and Narayanganj have the highest number of coronavirus patients next to Chittagong.
315 coronavirus patients are officially being treated in Chittagong city and upazilas under the district. Of these, 110 patients are being treated at Chittagong General Hospital, 30 at Faujdarhat Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Disease (BITID) Hospital and 50 at the Field Hospital. With the addition of Chittagong Medical College Hospital in the initiative, 4 hundred 15 COVID-19 patients will get medical treatment from next week.
If 60 percent of the patients are to be kept in the hospital, 388 beds are required altogether.
According to the World Health Organisation, 40 percent of coronavirus patients have mild symptoms. They can be cured at home. The remaining 60 percent have to be treated at the hospital.
About 10 percent of the patients may require ICU or ventilator. But Chittagong General Hospital has a total of 10 ICUs only while BITID and field hospitals do not have any ICU.
The number of patients after deaths and recovery stood at 647 till Sunday morning. If 60 percent of the patients are to be kept in the hospital, 388 beds are required. But there are only 315 beds in those three hospitals.
Chittagong General Hospital is the largest hospital for coronavirus patients in Chittagong. Almost all of the 110 beds in the hospital have been filled. This is the only hospital having ICU facilities.
According to administration, a plan was taken to treat coronavirus patients in 12 more government and private hospitals in Chittagong. But no further decision has been taken after that.
Sheikh Fazle Rabbi, Civil surgeon of Chittagong, said, “Three hospitals in the city are full of corona patients. We got a ward of Chittagong Medical College Hospital. It is being prepared. We also want to start treating the patients in Chittagong Holy Crescent Hospital.”
The civil surgeon said there were plans to admit coronavirus patients to Chittagong Railway Hospital, Port and City Corporation Hospital in phases. “Then we will need private medical college hospitals,” he said, “However, a decision from the higher level of the government is needed to start using these hospitals.”
Faisal Iqbal Chowdhury, general secretary of the Chittagong unit of the Bangladesh Medical Association, expressed his concern and told Easternlink that the number of patients in Chittagong is increasing every day. Last night a patient from Coxsbazar came to Chittagong, his family brought him here. It was difficult to manage a bed for him at 3 a.m. But we cannot refuse a patient out of humanity and managed finally.” He added, “Today we met Divisional commissioner in a meeting. The Health Ministry issued a order to prepare 3 Hospitals for the C-19 patients. Port Hospital, Railway Hospital and Chittagong Medical Hospital .It will take time ,we know there are crisis due to the lack of medical team and equipments.
Faisal Iqbal added, “There are more than two thousand beds in six private medical colleges in the city. There are 20-22 ICUs. Corona patients should be treated by negotiating with private medical college hospitals. We do not have much time. If our Health Ministry can contract MOU with those 6 Medical colleges for the certain period , it is emergency to save C-19 patients of Chittagong.”
“The unconfirmed cases can be treated in Chittagong Railway Hospital for now. Though we have to appoint medical team there. The decision to increase the number of hospitals for COVID-19 patients should be made swiftly,” he added.
Asim Kumar Nath said, “Many government agencies, including the police, are contacting us to admit new patients. But for now, we can only admit new patients when any patient is discharged.”
Similarly, physicians at Faujdarhat BITID and the Field Hospital said there were no vacancies. In this situation, families of new patients are waiting to admitting their dear ones in Chittagong Medical College Hospital.