Dhaka, Covid-19: Medicines and intensive care beds lacking
by Sumon Corraya

Bangladesh hospitals at saturation point, with about 200 deaths a day and people unable to buy medicines to treat their loved ones. Yet the government decides to relax measures to contain contagions ahead of Eid al-Adha. 

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Bangladesh is struggling with a shortage of medicines, ventilators and beds in intensive care units. The government hospitals, to which most of the population turns because they are cheaper, are in difficulty lacking the resources to treat everyone. For example, in Comilla, near the capital, there are 20 intensive care units, but about 30 people a day need a bed.

People's only hope is that someone will die or recover from the coronavirus.

The situation is similar in all 63 districts across the country. In Jhalokati, southern Bangladesh, the Sadar State Hospital has dedicated nine out of 23 doctors to the pandemic. The health facilities run by the local Church have almost all turned into Covid hospitals. 

This is compounded by the problem of being able to buy medicine: "In one day I spent 10,000 Bdt [about 100 euro] to treat my wife who has Covid. It is not possible to buy more because of lack of money," a resident of Faridpur district told AsiaNews.

Yesterday alone, 12,148 new cases and 187 deaths were recorded across Bangladesh. In the run-up to Eid al-Adha (the feast of sacrifice), the government has decided to relax measures to contain the infection, so until 22 July shopping centres, restaurants and livestock markets will be open to the public. Health experts warn that this can only worsen the situation.