Dulal Abdullah:: A total of 1,117 people have died at the Covid-19 unit of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
Seventeen new fatalities were tallied by the hospital authorities in the 24 hours between 8 am on Thursday and 8 am on Friday.
RMCH Director Brig Gen Shamim Yazdani said 10 of the 17 deceased were from Rajshahi district, three from Chapainawabganj, two from Natore and one each from Naogaon and Pabna.
Of them, 12 had tested positive for Covid-19 while the rest were showing symptoms consistent with the disease.
With the admission of 76 new patients, 468 people are currently undergoing treatment at the hospital’s Covid-19 unit. Another 18 patients are receiving medical care at the hospital’s ICU.
“We have 405 beds in the Covid-19-dedicated unit of the hospital,” Yazdani said.
He added that a 48-bedded ward with a central oxygen supply system was launched in the hospital recently to cope with the extra pressure of patients.
“We are supplying 8,000 litres of oxygen to the hospital’s Covid-19 patients every day on average, but the daily oxygen demand was only 2,500 litres around two months ago,” Yazdani said.
He said over 60% of the new Covid-19 patients admitted to the Covid-19 unit of RMCH were from villages, adding that awareness among villagers was less compared to urban people.
“They hesitate to get themselves tested despite showing symptoms [of Covid-19]. They only come to the hospital when the situation becomes serious. By then, there is nothing we can do for them,” he added.
He said more attention should be given to villages in addition to urban areas as the fatality rate among villagers was increasing and the situation in villages was deteriorating day by day.
“Apart from the administration and health workers, public representatives, political activists and volunteers should come forward and work together. Otherwise, the situation may worsen further,” he forewarned.