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31 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Acute shortage of ICUs in Bangladesh

Acute shortage of ICUs in Bangladesh

As the COVID-19 pandemic virulently rages across the world and the country, it has come to light that the number of ICUs in Dhaka is woefully inadequate. Reportedly, there are only 29 ICU beds at five hospitals combined. But even these cannot be totally reserved for Coronavirus patients since any person with COVID-19 symptoms cannot be kept in close vicinity of other patients who are suffering from critical ailments. In reality, while there is a widespread campaign aimed at prevention there is very little available as full fledged treatment once someone is diagnosed with the Coronavirus symptoms.

This is indeed unnerving because due to the country wide lockdown, many hospitals are also refusing to treat or admit patients with different health complications. In the city, an elderly man recently died due to brain hemorrhage after his children went around six hospitals, spending 16 hours in an ambulance. The reasons for the death were firstly, no hospital wanted to admit the patient since he showed some symptoms similar to that of a person with Coronavirus and secondly, others refused because they did not have any doctor on duty. The situation is such that even if a person suffers a stroke or any other health emergency, many hospitals may not be willing to provide admission. The dearth of doctors indicate the dearth of proper protection clothing in the city. The scarcity of ventilators, ICU equipment also affects the UK where a public debate is ongoing as to the dilatory action by the government in ordering and approving urgently needed ventilators.

The same is applicable for other countries too and so, Bangladesh has to make immediate orders for special beds with ventilators. Since most countries are in need of such equipment, the chances of these special beds being imported anytime soon are low and so, local companies can be given the task. In the UK, faced with an emergency, a vacuum cleaner builder has been asked to make ventilators.

This goes to show how desperate the situation is at the moment. Without further delay, the government should ask for immediate tenders from local companies that can make hospital beds with ventilators and while these cannot match the features of an ICU, they will provide urgent relief if patients come with breathing complications. For the long term, a special ICU unit can be opened up which will be in operation in case of a national crisis. Also, opening up the defence forces hospital for special purposes can be considered.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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