May 19, 2021

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Corona epidemic : There is less preparation to stop the second wave

The government has not been able to make the right decision in time to control corona infection. The health department has virtually no plans to deal with the second wave. Public health experts are speaking out for tougher measures. However, the government has chosen moderation.

The government stopped tourism in the three districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, then in Cox’s Bazar and across the country in the face of rapid spread of corona infection. At the same time, no one knows why it was not decided to stop tourism in all parts of the country. Despite the government’s advice not to hold mass rallies, the MBBS admission test was held on Friday. There would be no special damage if this test was passed. It is true that there were restrictions on the arrival of passengers from Europe and 12 other countries, but after the transition situation was far from over. Scientists at the University of Oxford found the best protection against the corona tick if the time difference between the first and second doses was 12 weeks. The Department of Health initially differentiated between two doses of four weeks, then eight weeks. There are many more examples of such incidents in the last one year.

Infections are on the rise every day, breaking records due to inability to make timely decisions, lack of effective plans to control infections, and indifference on the part of the general public. The Department of Health reported 6,630 new cases yesterday. The detection rate is 23.28 percent compared to the sample test.

The authorities of a private hospital in Dhaka told Prothom Alo yesterday that the number of infections in Dhaka city has increased a lot. Half of the samples they test every day are not identified.

People associated with the sample test think that people who want to go abroad, people in important government departments, many people who do not have symptoms are being tested. Excluding their samples from the test will show that the rate of infection is much higher. The second wave of the corona will roll far away.

Lack of preparation
Mujaherul Haque, a former consultant for the World Health Organization’s Southeast Asia region, told Prothom Alo that a second wave of infections has been observed in various parts of the world. The second wave has been discussed in Bangladesh for about six months now. When the wave came, it was seen that the health department was not ready. Infections are on the rise, deaths are on the rise, and there are fears of hospital beds.

Infection is expected to increase after the UK variant of the coronavirus was identified in the country on 5 January. But then the government did not take strict action against the arrival of passengers from the United Kingdom. Quarantine was said to last seven days, even four days. Virologists say quarantine should be 14 days.

A member of the National Technical Advisory Committee of the Department of Health, who did not want to be named, told Prothom Alo yesterday that the trend has been on the rise since a month ago. That is when regulatory measures were needed. But was not taken.

On March 1, there were 575 new identities and the identification rate was 4.31. Since then, the rate of new patients and identification has increased regularly. Professor Tahmina Shirin, director of the government’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Prothom Alo: “We have noticed an increase in infections in different districts since March through regular weekly reviews.” , Important state decisions cannot be made by the health department alone.

Apart from infection control, there is also a lack of preparation for treatment. Yesterday, there were only 46 empty beds in the 10 hospitals allotted for Kovid in Dhaka city. Kurmitola General Hospital and Rajarbagh Police Hospital, on the other hand, had more Kovid patients than the prescribed number of beds. In the last two days, it has been reported that more than one patient has had to visit different hospitals in the capital for admission. The hospital was supposed to increase the supply of ICU beds and oxygen, but it did not happen. A detailed report has been published in the first light.

Professor Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Director General of the Department of Health, told Prothom Alo: In the current situation, some hospitals will have to increase the number of beds, while some hospitals will have to be allocated for the entire cove. There are many complications. We have to consider the issues of our resources and capacity, ”he said, adding that steps have been taken to increase the number of beds at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, National Kidney Hospital, Mental Hospital, Heart Hospital, Mahanagar Hospital, Lalkuthi Hospital and Sheikh Russell Gastroliver Hospital.

There is less preparation to stop the second wave
What happened in the beginning
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced on December 31, 2019 that a new virus has been transmitted in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Five days later, from January 4, 2020, the government started screening passengers from abroad at all land and sea ports, including the country’s airports. The Prime Minister was informed about the infection on January 21. From January 22, IEDCR started regular news briefings. On February 2, the government brought 312 expatriates from Uhan to the country and kept them in quarantine for 14 days. On March 6, the first corona patient was identified in the country, and on March 18, the first death was reported.

In March, the Department of Health finalized a national preparedness and response plan to deal with the epidemic. The main purpose of this plan was threefold: Coronavir from abroad

Controlling coronary artery disease, controlling corona infections in the country and identifying corona victims and treating them individually.

There are two main functions in infection control. First: Wearing a mask, following hygiene rules and maintaining physical distance. Second: Identifying patients (tests) through sample testing, identifying people who come in contact with the identified person, treating the identified person and isolating them.

Last year, all this work was not done properly. Public health experts say neither the health department nor the government has been able to motivate people. Many are not wearing masks or following hygiene rules.

The first corona infection was caught in China. That China brought the infection under control within a few months.

A 10-member expert team from China arrived in Bangladesh on June 8. The members of the delegation submitted a report to the Disease Control Branch of the Department of Health after working for two weeks. This raises the issue of Bangladesh’s weakness in infection control. The report says there is a deficit in resource allocation and inter-sector cooperation. Most officers are more concerned with treatment than disease control. There is a lack of preventive measures among the common people.

A year later the situation did not change. To find out what the government has done to implement the report’s recommendations, the reporter called the director of the disease control branch 10 times yesterday, then sent a text message on his mobile phone. No response found. When contacted, Director General of the Department of Health Prof Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam told this reporter, ‘I used to work at Dhaka Medical College then. Asked if he had seen their report, the director general said, “I was not the director general then. No one informed me about the report. ‘

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