The bordering Satkhira district administration on Thursday announced the imposition of a strict lockdown in the district as coronavirus infection rate continued to increase there as in other border districts.
Top officials of Satkhira said that public movement and gathering was restricted from Saturday as the Covid infection rate in the district reached 54 per cent as over 245 people were hospitalised with severe health conditions after being infected with the virus.
Satkhira administration came up with the decision when parts of four bordering districts — Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chuadanga and Khulna — that too recorded high Covid infections and deaths.
After identifying public transmission of the Indian Covid-19 variant, the National Technical Committee on Covid-19 suggested a complete lockdown in the country’s border districts while ordering people across Bangladesh to stay at home unless it is an emergency.
Amid the reality, the country counted 30 more lives and 1,687 infections in the past 24 hours until 8:00am on Thursday with 9.94 per cent positivity rate across the nation, said the daily update of the Directorate General of Health Services.
Out of 30 deaths, the DGHS statistics showed that eight people died in Rajshahi, six each from Dhaka, Chattogram, three from Khulna, one from Barishal, two from Sylhet and four from Rangpur division.
The figures took the overall number of Covid deaths to 12,728 and infections to 8,05,980 ever since the viral disease emerged in Bangladesh on March 8, 2020.
Out of 30 deaths, 18 were above 60 years, six between 51 and 60, two between 41 and 50 and four between 31 and 40.
Among the deaths, 21 were male and nine female while 28 people died in hospital and two in house, according to the report.
The national committee for COVID-19 asked the government to impose an immediate lockdown in the bordering districts including Chapainawabganj, Natore, Rajshahi, Naogaon, Satkhira, Jashore, Khulna and Bagerhat.
Deputy commissioner in Satkhira SM Mostafa Kamal told New Age that they took the decision to impose a strict lockdown from 6:00am on Saturday for the next seven days as the infection rate increased to 54 per cent.
Civil surgeon offices of the bordering districts said that they were providing treatment with their limited facilities.
‘If the situation deteriorates, we will set the next plan of action,’ said Abdul Kuddus, civil surgeon in Dinajpur.
Under the restriction, he said, they would not allow public gathering, movement of transport services locally or on inter-district routes without any emergency or special needs.
He said that they have a plan to provide food support for poor people and for those who will lose their income and are in need of support.
New Age correspondent in Satkhira reported that the district Covid-19 prevention committee in the meeting held at the district auditorium on Thursday also decided to close shops except shops of essential goods to open for three hours till 12:00pm.
The committee also decided on the deployment of mobile courts to impose the lockdown strictly.
Chapainawabganj was under stricter restrictions since May 26. The new list of districts excluded Kushtia, which was earlier mentioned among the Covid-prone districts by the Directorate General of Health Services.
Chuadanga district administration on Tuesday imposed the restriction on seven villages of Karpasgola union in Damurhuda upazila as the Covid situation abnormally deteriorated in the bordering upazila.
Health service officials said that Covid-19 positivity rate in the bordering districts was recorded between 25 to 54 per cent while nationally it was 9.94 per cent.
They blamed the Indian variant which is more infectious and dangerous among other variants.
They also found an abnormal spike in the positivity rate in districts such as Gopalganj, Noakhali, Cox’s Bazar and Sylhet.
Rajshahi University correspondent of New Age reported that nine more people died of Covid-19 at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital in the past 24 hours.
RMCH deputy director Dr Saiful Islam told New Age that nine of the dead were from the boarding district Chapainawabganj, while two were from Rajshahi district and one each from Pabna and Natore districts.
He said that 29 new patients were admitted at the Covid unit of the hospital in the past 24 hours while a total of 224 patients were admitted to the unit.
Dr Saiful Islam said that not all the patients are being admitted to the corona ward due to the high pressure of patients.
‘Only those with low oxygen levels are being admitted to the Covid unit while the rest are being asked to take treatment at home,’ he added.
He also said that at present there are nine wards for the treatment of Corona patients. ‘With the increasing number of patients, the hospital needs more doctors to tackle so many patients.
We have requested the health department to give more doctors at the Covid units. However, no response has yet been made,’ he added.
Meanwhile, 159 out of 372 samples were tested positive at two labs of RMCH and Rajshahi Medical College.
Dr Saiful Islam said that 84 out of 211 samples were tested Covid positive in Rajshahi district in the past 24 hours while 74 out of 157 samples tested positive in Chapainawabganj district.
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