The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) used instruments of Bashundhara makeshift Covid-19 Isolation Hospital in some other government hospitals after shutting the country’s largest and temporary corona hospital for the people infected with coronavirus last year.
“The Bashundhara Covid-19 Isolation Hospital was closed on October 30 last year due to a low number of patients. Instruments of the isolation hospital were used in other hospitals,” Dr Md Farid Hossain Miah, director (Hospital) of the DGHS, told the Daily Sun on Tuesday.He also refuted media reports that the equipment of the Bashundhara Covid-19 Isolation Hospital were used in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Covid-19 Hospital at Mohakhali.
Farid Hossain further said they also shifted manpower of the Bashundhara Covid-19 Isolation Hospital to other government hospitals where it was necessary.
The Health and Family Welfare Ministry last year directed for closing all medical activities of the hospital on an emergency basis by September 30 while the memorandum of understanding with Bashundhara Group was also cancelled.
It issued a circular signed by Bilkis Begum, deputy secretary (Government Health Management-1) of the Health Services Division on September 17 last year in this regard.
The government asked for closing the hospital on an emergency basis by September 30 to cut huge financial losses as the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to the hospital dropped sharply.
The instructions include cancellation of the memorandum of understanding signed with Bashundhara Group, transfer or reassigning of all physicians, nurses and other health workers engaged in medical services, 2,013 general beds, 71 ICU beds and 10 ventilators.The country’s largest hospital for Covid-19 patients at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in the capital was inaugurated on May 17 last year.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque and Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir formally inaugurated the hospital by cutting ribbon at an event held at the ICCB.
Initially, the hospital started its operation with 600 beds and the government appointed a director, two assistant directors, 191 doctors and 10 office staff.
The hospital had the capacity to accommodate 2,013 beds and the DGHS had a plan to increase the number of beds to 5,000 depending on the number of Covid-19 patients.
A 71-bed intensive care unit (ICU) had also been included in the plan.
Bashundhara Group, the leading business conglomerate of the country, had voluntarily come forward to establishing the makeshift hospital at the ICCB for Covid-19 patients.
The Health Engineering Department and Bashundhara Group jointly implemented the project. The project was implemented within only three weeks to provide health services for the Covid-19 patients.
Earlier, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan had sent a written proposal to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to construct a makeshift hospital for Covid-19 patients at the ICCB.
Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir had formally tendered the proposal to Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmed Kaikaus at the PMO.
The premier had accepted the proposal instantly. Besides, Sayem Sobhan Anvir had donated Tk 100 million to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
The government provided medicine, doctors, nurses and supporting staff to facilitate the treatment while Bashundhara Group had designated its trade centre with 150,000 square feet and four convention centres with 90,000 square feet for the noble cause of treating people infected with the deadly virus which has seriously affected Bangladesh like other parts of the world.
Talking to the Daily Sun, Md Abdul Hamid, additional chief engineer of Health Engineering Department, said, “We just implemented the hospital project and handed over the Bashundhara Covid-19 Isolation Hospital to the authorities concerned on completion of its work.”
After the handover, the DGHS and Health and Family Welfare Ministry took charge of the hospital and started running its operation but they were hardly getting patients to admit to the hospital.
The DGHS at one stage closed the hospital as the number of coronavirus infections declined in the country and the manpower of the isolation hospital, including physicians, nurses and technologists, were passing idle time for lack of patients.
Bashundhara Group had dedicated its largest space at the ICCB for providing services for people infected with coronavirus during the global pandemic.