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Mismanagement In Bangladesh Leads To Increased Death Toll Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The first case of Coronavirus was detected in Bangladesh on March 8, since then, the number of active cases and deaths are on rise. Currently, over 78,000 people have been infected with the virus in the country, nearly 1000 have died and approximately 16, 740 have recovered

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Tanbirul Miraj Ripon
Tanbirul Miraj Ripon
TCT Asian Correspondent (Conflict Politics, Human Rights & International Relations ).He interviewed Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk & 180+ Politics Experts . Twitter: @Miraj_Ripon

Bangladesh, Chittagong – When people all across the world are suffering amid the Coronavirus pandemic, people in Bangladesh have become victims of cruelty.

The patients whether infected by the virus or not are being denied treatment by doctors at various hospitals without negative test reports. Meanwhile, the hospitals designated for COVID-19 treatment are not admitting patients without positive test results. This has resulted in increased deaths in Bangladesh on a whole as people suffering from other diseases are losing their lives even before being tested for COVID-19.

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It is widely believed that being tested for the virus is a chaotic and complex process. People face issues like standing in line for a long time and then being told that it won’t happen today. And, even if someone gets tested, it takes around 6 days to get the reports while the person continues to suffer and in some cases, dies eventually.

The first case of Coronavirus was detected in Bangladesh on March 8, since then, the number of active cases and deaths are on rise. Currently, over 78,000 people have been infected with the virus in the country, nearly 1000 have died and approximately 16, 740 have recovered.

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As per local media reports, a total of 298 people including heart patients, pregnant women, etc. have died without treatment in the last 3 months. 229 have lost their lives being home without treatment while 69 others died on the way to hospital. Some deaths have also not been revealed yet, according to dw.com.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a report by China that was released in April said, 5% of patients who tested positive for the virus require artificial respiration and another 15% require condensed oxygen. This means approximately 20% of the patients who are infected will need to be moved to ICU. Whereas, the country’s ICU system can’t even handle close to 20% of the entire population of Bangladesh. The Department of Health released a report last week which said there are only 399 ICU beds in the country for coronavirus  patients. Of these, 218 are in the capital, 48 in Dhaka division, 34 in Chittagong division, 7 in Mymensingh division, 18 in Barisal, 16 in Sylhet, 28 in Rajshahi, 18 in Khulna and 13 in Rangpur. And, there is no ICU in about 16 districts of the country, as per www.Chandpurtimes.com.

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Although the government had assured to tackle the situation in an effective manner, the facts and figures show lack of preparedness and mismanagement in the health sector. The hospitals also lack adequate Intense Care Units (ICUs) and only 10,000 people are being tested in a day. There are just 55 PCR labs available for 170 million people as per www.dghs.gov.bd. And this is precisely why the test results get delayed and people are dying in huge numbers.

However, a professor of Chittagong Medical College, who wished to stay anonymous, told Transcontinental Times that “Everyone has the right to get the treatment if they are sick and they don’t need to get tested for COVID-19 ideally.” “The government has directed to admit all the patients, with any kind of disease in the hospitals,” he added. The professor further informed that the sensitivity of PCR test is 77-70% and therefore, 30-33% of the patients may test negative. So, the treatment should only be taken if someone has symptoms. In case of shortness of breath or oxygen saturation falls below 93%, hospitalization is required, he added. While explaining all about the virus, he said, “If the test is done 7-8 days after the sample collection, the report is more likely to be negative.”

Meanwhile, reports from across the country of government officials being harassed by the public for mishandling cases have also emerged amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

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