Chattogram has become a hotspot for COVID-19, ranking third after Dhaka and Narayanganj as 95 cases were confirmed in a single day.
Experts blamed uncontrolled movement of citizens and unrestrained plying of vehicles on roads and highways for the spread of the virus.
Civil surgeon Sheikh Fazle Rabbi said that on Wednesday four laboratories of Chattogram tested 369 samples, of which 95 were detected as COVID-19 positive.
Among the 95 patients, 74 are from the metropolitan city and 21 from different upazilas of Chattogram.
The four laboratories were — Bangladesh Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital Chattogram, Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chittagong Medical College Hospital and Cox’s Bazar Medical College.
At present the total number of coronavirus infected patients in the Chattogram division is 512. Of which 399 are male and 113 are female. Among the 512 patients, 353 are from the metropolitan city and 159 from different upazilas of Chattogram. Of the patients, 27 have died.
From March 25, tests for COVID-19 were started at Bangladesh Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital BITID Chattogram while in April 26 tests were started at the laboratory of Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.
On May 9, the laboratory of Chittagong Medical College Hospital also started testing COVID-19 suspects.
As the number of test increased, the number of detected patients also multiplied in Chattogram, said the civil surgeon.
Chattogram Divisional Directorate of Health Services director Hasan Shahriar said that as the inter-district and inter-upazila communication remained active, the risk increased.
Especially the goods laden vehicles had been plying and even microbuses and private cars had also been running on city roads and highways and businessmen and citizens have been travelling from Dhaka and Narayanganj to Chattogram, he added.
RMG workers came back to Chattogram from their villages when the factories opened, for which no prior preparation was taken, he said.
Besides, a huge number of citizens are still reluctant to follow the health guidelines in Chattogram.
Bangladesh Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital BITID Chattogram laboratory head Shakil Ahmed said, ‘Till April there was restrictions and people did not come out of their homes, so the number of infections was low. At present people the lockdown has been loosened as people don’t want to remain confined to their homes, so the number of patients increased in Chattogram.
Civil Surgeon Chattogram Sheikh Fazle Rabbi said that a total 220 beds are ready for the coronavirus patients in Chattogram.
Among them Chattogram General Hospital has 10 beds with ICU facilities and 100 isolation beds. Bangladesh tropical and Infectious Disease has 30 isolation beds, Chattogram Field Hospital has 50 beds, and Chittagong Medical College Hospital has 30 observation beds.
Fazle Rabbi said that nearly 20 per cent COVID-19 patients have been taking treatments in the hospitals. Rests of the patients are getting treatment from home.
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