DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Monday recorded a new spike in COVID-19 infections, with 8,364 cases, raising a fear that if the surge continues there would be a serious crisis of hospital beds soon.

Bangladesh registered 104 more fatalities taking the death toll to 14,276 and the tally of cases to 896,770, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Monday.

For the past 24 hours, the positivity rate has also steadily risen — currently standing at 23.86% — with experts warning of a third wave unfolded.

Spokesperson of the DGHS Dr. Robed Amin on Monday at the COVID-19 bulletin said the infections have started to increase worryingly. He said he feared, if it continues like this, hospital beds will not be available soon.

“We see crowds of COVID patients in hospitals again. As a result, the number of beds in hospitals is rapidly being filled.” Only 281 ICU beds remain vacant. Compared to last month, about 50% of all beds in hospitals have been filled.

Deaths and infections are higher along Bangladesh’s border districts neighboring India, and the Delta variant is dominating in these areas, he added.

Amin, however, did not provide a date on the shipment of vaccines from India, saying the government is working hard and vaccines from China would come to Bangladesh soon.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at a news conference in Dhaka on Monday said the government has allocated 230 million Bangladeshi takas ($2.71 million) to support the needy people during the lockdown under the social security program.

Graphic scenarios showed that a large part of the country is raising the alert levels because of rising COVID-19 infections. “So now we have no choice but to impose strict restrictions,” Anwarul added.

The government on Sunday issued a circular imposing a three-day lockdown after it reviewed its previous decision. According to the new decision, a “harder lockdown” would come into effect from Thursday for a week in addition to an extended border lockdown with neighboring India till July 14.

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