Makbul Hossain and his seven-year-old daughter were admitted to Sir Salimullah Medical College Mitford Hospital in Old Dhaka after they were diagnosed with dengue fever on 5 September.
Patients are staying on the floor in the hospital's dengue ward as their number has far exceeded the capacity. There are less than 100 beds for dengue patients.
Makbul, a resident of Bangshal in the capital, told The Business Standard dengue is not a new problem in Dhaka.
He suffered a lot when his wife was diagnosed with dengue fever in 2019.
"My platelet count fell a bit and has recovered much now, but my daughter's condition is worse. If her condition was good, we would have arranged home treatment for her. Among so many patients here, my family members are also afraid of being infected," he said.
He said there is constant waterlogging around his house due to road digging and water does not recede, which creates conditions for dengue to spread.
Many of his neighbours have also been infected and are now receiving treatment in different hospitals.
Dhaka dwellers are not free yet from the dengue menace although the two city corporations conduct drives in different areas every day and impose heavy fines on those who do not keep their surroundings clean.
A month and a half ago, five hospitals in Dhaka were announced as dedicated facilities for dengue patients, but only one is delivering services. However, this hospital was already treating dengue patients before the announcement.
Of the remaining four, the Railway General Hospital in Kamalapur has not yet received any instructions on treating dengue patients as a dedicated hospital.
Pregnant women and newborns are treated at Lalkuthi Maternity Hospital in Mirpur, but it has not started admitting and treating dengue patients as no required measures have been taken yet.
The 31-bed hospital in Kamrangirchar and the 20-bed hospital in Aminbazar have not started providing dengue treatment either.
On 25 July, Health Minister Zahid Maleque announced that dengue patients would be treated in these hospitals.
The health directorate has written to the health ministry, asking for the required manpower and equipment for these hospitals so that they can start providing dengue treatment.
But the ministry has not yet taken any step in this regard.
Sir Salimullah Medical College Mitford Hospital Director Brigadier General Kazi Md Rashid un Nabi said they had been treating dengue patients since the onset of the disease this year.
He said they can admit 80 patients to the dengue ward, but such patients are also being treated in other wards.
The hospital had about 1,400 patients till Thursday, including 228 dengue patients.
There are 174 children in the 50-bed children's ward, and 40 of them are dengue patients.
Dengue patients are coming to the hospital when the disease is still at the initial stage, and that is why deaths are decreasing, the hospital director said.
Currently, most of the dengue patients in the country are 21-30 years old.
In the last seven days, 466 dengue patients aged 21-30, 415 aged 11-20, and 422 aged 1-10 were admitted to different hospitals.
The health directorate said 248 dengue patients were admitted to various hospitals across the country in the preceding 24 hours till 8am on Friday.
Besides, 2,899 patients were admitted in the first 10 days of this month.
The total number of dengue patients infected this year stands at 13,255.
After treatment, 11,960 patients returned home.
A total of 54 people died of dengue this year and eight died in the first 10 days of this month.
According to information from 41 hospitals in Dhaka, 1,041 patients are currently undergoing treatment there.
Besides, 180 patients are receiving treatment outside Dhaka.
Dengue infections will start falling in the next one or two weeks, said President of the Centre for Governance Studies Dr Manjur A Chowdhury.
"When someone is infected, those around him become aware. Many patients at the initial stage of the disease are taking hospital treatment. They are not high-risk patients," he said.
He also said infections would have largely fallen had the city corporations eliminated aedes mosquitoes in schools since the beginning.
Manjur praised the Dhaka North City Corporation's initiative to kill mosquitoes in educational institutions through fogging.
Infections would have been less if the measure was taken early this year, he said.
He also said only fogging would not be fruitful, and infections would not have increased so much had the World Health Organisation's warnings been followed.
The air will become toxic if pesticides are sprayed in a place every three days and this will lead to another problem, he said.
He said aedes elimination needs a coordinated approach.
Former director of the health directorate (disease control) Professor Be-Nazir Ahmed said dengue treatment facilities should now be increased in hospitals as the pandemic has weakened.
He said the government is working on this.
It is not certain whether dengue infections will fall if the current rain trend continues in September, he said.
He said the city corporations need to pay more attention to aedes control.
Citizens should be included in destroying mosquito breeding grounds, he further said.
Those not keeping their surroundings clean and not participating in aedes control measures should face legal actions, he added.