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Rajshahi, Khulna cities go under strict lockdown

12 June 2021


Rajshahi Correspondent / Khulna Correspondent :
Rajshahi city is entering a total lockdown beginning on Friday afternoon with shops and transports closed for seven days as the authorities grapple with an outbreak of the coronavirus in the border areas.
Divisional Commissioner Humayun Kabir announced the lockdown on Thursday, 10 days after a committee of experts at the Directorate General of Health Services recommended locking down seven districts, including Rajshahi.  
A day later, Health Minister Zahid Maleque warned that delaying total lockdowns in these districts will deepen the crisis.
Now, Rajshahi Medical College Hospital is so overwhelmed by the deadly surge of infection, it has to keep patients on the floor for treatment.    
Kabir said they took the decision after analysing data of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Rajshahi district.
He said no vehicle will be allowed into Rajshahi from Chanpainawabganj, Natore and Naogaon districts and transports cannot leave the districts. But emergency vehicles are exempt from the lockdown.
Meanwhile, Rajshahi Medical College Hospital has registered 15 new fatalities from the coronavirus infection in a day. The dead were mostly patients from Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Natore, who breathed their last in the 24 hours to 6 am Friday.
Among them, seven were diagnosed with COVID-19, while the rest had died before their tests could be completed, said Dr Saiful Ferdous, deputy director of RMCH. As many as 108 people have died from the disease during treatment in the hospital so far in June. The test results of 63 of them came back positive. The others had displayed symptoms consistent with the disease.
Of the 43 patients admitted to the RMCH's coronavirus unit in the last 24 hours, 22 hailed from Rajshahi, 11 from Chapainawabganj and seven from Naogaon. The others came from Natore, Pabna and Meherpur. Another 25 patients were discharged from the hospital in the same period.    
As of 6 am Thursday, the corona ward, which has a capacity of 271 beds was caring for 297 patients, with 18 more receiving treatment in the intensive care unit. These patients came from Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Naogaon, Pabne and Kushtia, the authorities said.  
Rajshahi has emerged as a new hotspot for the coronavirus but the district has seen a slight drop in the positivity rate of coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours. Of the 526 tests conducted at two labs in Rajshahi, 237 returned positive results, said Dr Saiful. Among them, 143 of 373 people from Rajshahi were tested positive.
The positivity rate of 38.34 percent was 3.5 percentage points lower than in the previous 24-hour period.
The outbreaks in the rural border districts, however, have worsened after the detection of the highly infectious Delta variant, which has caused widespread loss of life in India.
As many as 12 patients died at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital's COVID-19 unit in the 24 hours to 6pm on Thursday, taking the death toll there to 92 in 10 days.
The positivity rate of coronavirus tests has continued to rise at the new disease hotspot in Rajshahi. Of the 404 tests conducted at two labs in Rajshahi, 169, or 41.85 percent, came back positive on Wednesday.
In the daily count on Thursday, Rajshahi recorded 353 cases, the highest among the 64 districts.
Meanwhile, the reports coming from Khulna said that District Coronavirus Prevention Committee yesterday imposed one-week long stern restrictions in the city and district to combat coronavirus infection, effective from tomorrow (Sunday).
As per the restriction, shopping malls, markets, resturents, grocery shops will remain closed from 5.00pm to 8.00am every day. Anybody will not loiter out of residences without any emergency task, battery run rickshaw, easy-bike, engine run Mahendra and other cityvheciles will run carrying passengers halft of capacity while kithen markets, medecine shops and other emmergency services will also remain open.
The decision was taken in a coronavirus prevention committee meeting held at the deputy commissioner's (DC) conference room today as coronavirus (Covid-19) infection rate gradually increases in Khulna.
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque addressed the meeting as chief guest while Khulna divisional commissioner Md Ismail Hossain virtually joined the meeting.
Chaired by the DC Md Helal Hossain, the meeting was addressed, among others, by
Additional Deputy Commissioner Sarder Rakibul Islam, Superintendent of Police Md Mahbub Hasan, Civil Surgeon Dr Niaz Mohammad, Vice-Principal of Khulna Medical College Dr Mehedi Newaz, General Secretary of city unit Awami League MDA Babul Rana and Khulna Press Club President S M Zahid Hossain.
The chief guest KCC Mayor Khaleque said, "We have not get fruitful result after imposing restriction in a scattered manner in last one week till today. We will not be able to avert higher infection rate of deadly virus without implementing a total restriction."
The mayor asked the law enforcement agencies to take stern action against government health rules violators.
The meeting decided to increase beds in hospitals for coronavirus patients to tackle the situation. It also decided to turn government General Hospital into corona dedicated hospital suggesting to take necessary steps from Health Ministry as well as Department of Health for adequate manpower and logistic support.
Hailing Khulna University authority for their RTPCR Labrotary setting where at least 500 samples of corona suspected patients can be tested every day, the divisional commissioner Md Ismail Hossain advised to send a medical team to the campus and enhance test coordination with other labratories.
During the restriction in three city thana areas and Rupsha upazila in the district last one week, the district administration realised fine of Taka 3,62,545 through 223 mobile courts.

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