A sudden surge in Covid cases in Khulna district has left many corona patients gasping for breath due to an apparent shortage of medical oxygen in some hospitals.
The demand for the life-saving gas has, in fact, doubled in the district in the past one month, UNB has learnt.
At Khulna Dedicated Covid Hospital, for instance, the number of patients is rising by the day. But the hospital is being forced to turn many of them away due to lack of vacant oxygen and ICU beds. The worst hit are the elderly patients.
Sajeeb Raihan, in-charge of Khulna Depot Spectra Oxygen Limited (SOL), said, “The demand for the live-saving gas has doubled as compared to May."
"Earlier the demand for small cylinders (1.36 cubic metres) was 200 daily, but now it has surged to 400 a day. Similarly, the demand for large cylinders (6.8 cubic metres) has risen to 400 daily from last month's figure of 200-259 daily," he said.
Already liquid oxygen tanks have been installed at Khulna Medical College and Hospital, Sadar Hospital and Gopalganj Hospital, he said.
According to Sajeeb, many private hospitals are also witnessing a surge in demand for medical oxygen. "Some hospitals have started sourcing oxygen from private firms directly."
Covid-19 situation in Khulna division
Eight Covid-19 patients died in Khulna division in 24 hours on Friday, a top health official said. Besides, some 1,033 people have been found infected with the virus during the same period.
Rasheda Sultana, director (Health) of Khulna Division, said of the total deaths, two people died in Khulna, two each in Jashore and Narail districts, and one each in Meherpur and Satkhira districts.
On Thursday, 18 people died of Covid-19 while 765 new cases were registered in the division.
In Khulna division, the first case of Covid-19 was detected in Chuadanga on March 19, 2020.
So far, 43,644 people have been infected with the virus in 10 districts of the division, and the death toll has reached 775. A total of 33,944 people have recovered from the virus to date.