Thursday, 20 January, 2022

Preparations for facing fresh wave of corona

  • Mohammad Al Amin
  • 12 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Preparations for facing fresh wave of corona

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Amid the fresh surge of coronavirus infection in Bangladesh like many other countries of the world, the government is taking preparations, including prevention and treatment measures, to face the situation.

Health and family welfare ministry sources said it is preparing the hospitals, including general and ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds, setting up central oxygen facility and oxygen cylinders, and arranging necessary medical staff, medicines and other instruments to ensure proper treatment for the Covid-19 patients.

Besides, the government has strengthened screening in all ports of entry while it has been testing samples of the suspected passengers coming from abroad and checking their corona test reports. It has also given directives to ensure maintaining health guidelines strictly in a bid to resist the fresh surge of the coronavirus in Bangladesh.

“We have preparations to face the fresh spike of coronavirus. We are preparing hospital beds and other necessary instruments to ensure proper treatment for the patients. However, if the number of patients becomes double than our capacity, it will be difficult to tackle the situation,” Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Daily Sun.

Describing the preparation of the DGHS, he said they are increasing the hospital beds to 20,000, including ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds, and setting up more than 100 oxygen generators in the hospitals across the country in a bid to ensure proper treatment for the corona patients.

“The hospitals have been asked to free the Covid-19 beds as per necessity. Earlier, the beds were included in non-corona units due to the declining patients. At the same time, a number of beds have also been increased to face the fresh surge of the virus transmission,” he added.

ABM Khurshid Alam further said the government has recruited medical staff, including doctors, nurses and medical technologists, during the coronavirus outbreak in the country. It has already recruited 10,000 doctors and the process of recruiting 5,000 more doctors is at the final stage, he said.    The DGHS chief recently told reporters that the country may see a major spike in coronavirus infection transmission in March-April as the Omicron variant is now leading the pandemic in the world.

ABM Khurshid Alam further said the government is setting up 10-bed ICU and 10-bed dialysis unit in all district hospitals across the country to ensure the proper treatment for the patients.

According to the DGHS, there are 13,412 general beds, 1,213 Covid-19 ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds, 708 HDU (High Dependency Unit) beds, 2,019 High Flow Oxygen Nasal Cannula, 2,343 oxygen concentrators and 118 central oxygen lines across the country, including in Dhaka.

Of them, there are 1,143 High Flow Oxygen Nasal Cannula, 706 oxygen concentrators, 60 central oxygen line and 12,745 oxygen cylinders in government hospitals in Dhaka division.

The coronavirus infection test is also going on in 852 labs -- 152 RT PCR labs, 57 GeneXpert and 643 Rapid Antigen -- at government and private hospitals and diagnostics centers in the country.

“During the previous wave of coronavirus transmission, separate corona units were set up in district and medical college hospitals and 10-20bed isolation units in all upazila health complexes in the country. These corona units and isolation units will be opened whenever it will be needed again,” Dr Farid Hossain Mia, director (Hospital) of the DGHS, told the Daily Sun.

The DGHS sources said it also keeps open a number of phone numbers, including 16263 and 333, from its call centre to provide health advice for the corona patients over phone for 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on November 22 last year said the government has taken initiative to recruit 15,000 to 20,000 health assistants and medical technologists to remove manpower shortage in the health sector.

“We have already recruited 15,000 physicians and 20,000 nurses to handle coronavirus situation properly…recruitment process of 4,000 doctors and 8,000 nurses is underway,” he told a function.

As part of preventive measures to resist the fresh wave of coronavirus transmission, the government on Tuesday issued an 11-point circular making the face mask, vaccination a must and limiting public gathering.

The government also aims to inoculate the students by January 31 and isnow administering booster dose among people aged 60 and above, people with serious comorbidity and frontliners. 

All types of markets and shops will be closed in Khulna city from January 11 after 8:00pm.

The information was given after a meeting of the Khulna district and metropolitan coronavirus prevention committee on Thursday.