Bangladesh’s rural areas account for half of COVID patients as delta variant spreads

The community transmission of COVID-19 has reached villages across Bangladesh and 50 percent of the current caseload comes from rural areas, according to a government calculation.

Published : 5 July 2021, 10:44 AM
Updated : 5 July 2021, 10:44 AM

Infections have spread to the community level and more people from rural areas are being affected, Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of DGHS, said on Monday. “According to our calculations, over 50 percent of patients are from villages.”

Because it is monsoon, many COVID patients mistakenly believe their fevers, coughs and clogged noses are caused by seasonal illnesses, Dr Alam said. So many of them are not coming to the hospital in time and are dying because they are not being treated in a timely manner.

“I am talking about every upazila,” he said. “Everyone is observing the same thing – patients are coming to the hospital when their oxygen saturation level has fallen to 40 or 50. When the oxygen saturation level falls, it causes brain damage. It is very difficult to save these patients."

“Patients from rural areas are unaware of the situation and elderly people from villages come to the hospital late, resulting in more fatalities.”

The fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus was detected in Bangladesh for the first time in April. The country has set new records in the number of daily cases and deaths.

Not only has the disease spread in Dhaka, but spikes have also occurred in Khulna and Rajshahi. On some days, the numbers of cases and deaths in those divisions are higher than in Dhaka. Of the 153 deaths reported on Sunday, a daily record, 48 were in Dhaka and 51 were in Khulna.

A genome sequence on coronavirus samples in June found that 78 percent were of the delta variety, the IEDCR said on Sunday.