Nearly 20 million people have been inoculated so far, says the health minister
Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday said the hospitals have become overcrowded with Covid patients due to the higher number of cases in the past few months.
“But the government is trying its best to handle the situation,” he said while addressing an event by the Bangladesh Society of Medicine.
Mentioning that the infection is declining, the minister said: “This trend must be continued. The government has taken all necessary initiatives to bring the elderly under vaccination.”
The health minister said: “Of the 6,000 coronavirus beds in the capital, both public and private, not a single one is empty."
He said the government hospitals in Dhaka have 600 ICU beds, while the private ones have 1,500 ICU beds. There are some 16,000 beds across the country for Covid patients, he added.
“In a few days we will have four to five thousand technicians, which is very necessary. We are building a field hospital. Apart from these, vaccination activities are also underway,” he added.
Bangladesh expects to receive another 10 million doses of Covid vaccines in August, said the minister.
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"Approximately 5.4 million vaccines will arrive this week, with another five million arriving later this month."
"If the virus continues to spread, the country will face significant issues. The economy will suffer as a result of this, and unemployment will rise," he added.
Nearly 20 million individuals have received the Covid-19 vaccine and millions more have applied for it, said the minister.
"We won't be able to vaccinate everyone at the same time. Vaccination would be carried out in phases," he added.
Speaking at the event, ABM Khurshid Alam, chief of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said: "The number of hospitals cannot be expanded overnight, but the number of beds in hospitals has been increased."
"It's pointless to expand the capacity of hospitals if the infection rate cannot be not lowered," he added.
Bangladesh is currently administering vaccines developed by four companies — Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sinopharm.
The country has received 27.4 million doses of these vaccines from different sources so far.
These include 11.9 million AstraZeneca jabs, 5.5 million Moderna, 9.8 million Sinopharm and 100,620 Pfizer doses.