Delta variant surge at border forces Bangladesh into new lockdown

Delta variant surge at border forces Bangladesh into new lockdown

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Dhaka: In a state-run hospital near Bangladesh‘s border with India, Shahinul Islam prays his father does not become one of the facility’s more than 300 patients who’ve died this month from coronavirus.

Hundreds like his father are struggling to breathe in the COVID-19 treatment unit, while Islam waits in an emergency room packed with people. Relatives rush in and out, desperately trying to find oxygen cylinders for their loved ones.

The crowds of COVID-19 patients and worried kin are new scenes for the 1,200-bed Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, which serves border communities being overrun by the more infectious delta variant first detected in neighboring India.

Over 450 people with COVID-19 were admitted on Tuesday to the state-run hospital in Rajshahi district’s main city.

Islam said his entire family has been shunned by people in his home village closer to the border. The other villagers are afraid of us. They don’t talk to us. When they see us on the road, they take a different path, he said. We are suffering a lot, he added.

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