Staff Correspondent: The government will procure six crore more doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China to ramp up the inoculation drive across Bangladesh, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque yesterday.
“We’ve signed a deal with China to receive 1.5 crore doses of Sinopharm vaccine. China has already started sending the vaccine doses. We’ll sign another agreement to collect six crore more doses as the prime minister has approved it,” he said.
The health minister came up with the disclosure while inaugurating a covid field hospital at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
“Of the seven crore doses of Sinopharm vaccine, two crore doses will arrive in October and November each while some more vaccine jabs will come before the two months though those will be less in quantity,” he said.
Regarding the BSMMU covid field hospital, the minister said, “The hospital has been launched with 357 beds, including 40 ICU ones. Besides, central oxygen lines have been installed for the remaining beds.”
The hospital will be upgraded to 1000-bed ones in phases, he added.
People will get all Covid treatment facilities at the hospital and new patients and patients in critical condition will be admitted there, said Maleque.
Noting that Bangladesh has been experiencing a devastating Covid situation, the minister said there is also a crisis of ICU beds. There’re only 17,000 general beds for treating Covid patients across the country which have already been occupied, he added.
Besides, hospitals are also providing dengue treatment due to a surge in dengue cases alongside Covid patients, he said.
Bangladesh reported 248 fatalities to its national Covid tally on Friday, up from 212 logged a week earlier.
The country has been reporting over 200 single-day fatalities for the past two weeks as it races to head off a surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the unrelenting Delta variant.
After weathering the first wave of the virus, Bangladesh’s health services are now stretched dangerously thin.
The Covid-19 infections are on the upswing, with 13,771 – 95% of the peak – new cases being reported on an average every day.
Bangladesh recorded 12,606 new cases on Friday after testing 48,015 samples, down from 13,862 logged a week earlier on July 30.
There have been 1,335,260 infections and 22,150 coronavirus-related deaths here since the pandemic began, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.
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