Bangladesh’s virus hotspot gasps for air as cases surge, South Asia News

There have been reports of empty oxygen cylinders piling up in the city of Khulna, which has now become Bangladesh’s coronavirus hotspot amid a surge.¬†

The government has ordered a strict week-long nationwide lockdown in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19, but Khulna’s hospitals cannot cope.

On Thursday, Khulna city recorded 46 virus deaths, while in earlier waves the daily death toll never went into double figures.

Most people say the real toll is much higher. Also, as per the reports, graveyards cannot cope with the number of dead in nearby cities such as Satkhira.

The main state-run Khulna general hospital is one of four in the city treating coronavirus patients and has 400 beds and is unable to cope up with the patient surge. 

Niaz Muhammad, the chief government doctor for the Khulna region, said, “We have been dealing with enormous admission pressure in hospitals. He further denied an oxygen shortage.

Also read | Bangladesh heads into strict lockdown amid record coronavirus spike

Amid the lockdown, police, and troops have patrolled the streets across Bangladesh. Hundreds of people have been arrested each day for leaving their homes. In Khulna, restrictions on movement have been in place since last month, as the infection rate has soared.

However, the city’s factories are still open and many people say they are forced to go out to work.

Bangladesh has recorded just over 935,000 cases and 14,900 deaths in the past 15 months. As per the citizens, the figures are drastically under-reported.

As a part of the lockdown, all offices and transportation are shut during this period while factories, including the country’s prime garment export sector, will be allowed to remain open if they follow health protocols, the government said.

A police officer at one checkpoint said only essential goods carriers and ambulances were being permitted to move on the streets.

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