The southeastern hill district of Rangamati is the only Bangladeshi district still free from coronavirus, while health officials on Saturday said the number of confirmed cases of the extremely contagious virus has reached 8,790 and the death toll stood at 175 so far in this crowded country.
“As per capacity of the Bangladesh government, all necessary facilities for treatment of COVID-19 patients have increased and we are continuing to expand the treatment facilities,” Md Habibur Rahman Khan, Additional Secretary (administration) of health and family welfare ministry, told the daily sun.According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the coronavirus transmission has spread to all but one of the country’s 64 districts --- Rangamati --- as 8,790 infected cases has been detected and the death toll stood at 175 till 8am on Saturday.
“The coronavirus has spread almost all districts of the country. However, Rangamati district is still free from the coronavirus infection case. We are working to increase treatment facilities for the covid-19 patients all over the country, as per requirement,” Prof Dr Nasima Sultana, Additional Director General (administration) of the DGHS told the daily sun.
The health and family welfare ministry sources said the government has been expanding treatment facilities for the covid-19 patients across the country including Dhaka city as it is increasing number of isolation beds, providing protective gears for the physicians and other medical staffs as well as working to increase the number of physicians, nurses and other medical staffs to tackle this unprecedented coronavirus situation.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday recommended recruiting 2,000 doctors and 5,054 nurses on an urgent basis to tackle the coronavirus crisis in the country.
On April 27, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during a conference with officials and public representatives of the districts of Rajshahi division over the COVID-19 situation, said “We are going to appoint more 2,000 physicians and 6,000 nurses at the quickest possible time to ensure treatment of the coronavirus patients. I have already approved it.”
She said doctors will be recruited from those who have passed the BCS examinations (earlier), adding that after recruitment of the physicians and nurses, all of them will be given special training on treating COVID-19 patients.The premier reiterated that her government has already taken initiatives to install Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in every district in phases. “In this context, we have already decided to set up ICU in every district in phases to ensure problem-free treatment for patients anywhere.”
Sheikh Hasina said her government is taking every possible measure in line with the guideline of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to save people’s lives from the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
The DGHS, sources said it has also prepared number of isolation beds to more than 20,000 and it will be increased gradually depending on the coronavirus infection in the country.
Addressing the daily online health bulletin of the DGHS, Prof Nasima Sultana said on Saturday that the government has already prepared a total of 9,638 isolation beds in different hospitals across the country – 3,944 in Dhaka and 5,694 outside the capital. She also said now 341 ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds are prepared and 102 dialysis facility for Covid-19 patients in different hospitals.
The DGHS official further said 4,028 physicians are voluntarily giving treatment services through the DGHS hotlines every day.
Nasima said the government has collected 18,33,492 personal protective equipment (PPE) for physicians, nurses and other health staff involved in coronavirus treatment services and distributed 14,34,728 PPE and 3,98,764 more PPE remained in stock.
DGHS sources said the health and family welfare ministry has also prepared 615 institutions in all district and upazila levels across the country to instantly quarantine 30,955 suspected coronavirus patients.
Visiting a new corona isolation centre recently at Bashundhara Convention Centre in the capital, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said more than 20,000 corona isolation beds are now ready across the country to treat patients.
The minister said another 4,500 new corona isolation beds have been prepared at Bashundhara Convention Centre, DNCC Market and four floors of Dia Bari in the capital to deal with coronavirus patients. “It would be possible to open these corona isolation hospitals within a week.”
There are 2,000 beds at the Bashundhara Convention Center, 1,300 at the DNCC Market and 1200 at Uttara Diabari which are now fully ready. Besides, 601 more institutions in districts and upazilas, including the capital, are ready for use as corona isolation centres.
The minister also said, several medical technologists are being recruited through outsourcing.
Adequate isolation beds, ICU centers, ventilators and oxygen cylinder facilities will be increased as well, the health ministry sources said.
Nasima Sultana said Kurmitola General Hospital, Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital, Infectious Disease Hospital, Mohanagar General Hospital, Railway Hospital, Rajarbagh Police Hospital, Lalkuthi Maternity Hospital, Regent Hospital Mirpur, Regent Hospital Uttara and Sajeda Foundation Hospital Narayanganj are dedicated hospitals for covid-19 treatment.
DGHS sources said Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Institute and Hospital and Institute of Child and Mother Health and Mugda Medical College Hospital are also giving treatment for the coronavirus infected patients while burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, a portion of the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) and a building of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) for coronavirus patients may be used for treatment of the covid-19.
The health ministry sources said the government has also set up 200-bed hospitals with ICU facility in divisional level and 50-100-bed hospitals in all districts level across the country for the covid-19 patients.
Some private hospitals are also being prepared to provide treatment for the covid-19 patients, the sources added.
Nasima Sultana of the DGHS said coronavirus testing is going on in 31 laboratories across the country while some private hospitals have got approval to carry out the test.