With the coronavirus situation taking a turn for the worse in the country, a sigh of relief has come to port city residents, as Chattogram General Hospital (CGH), the oldest and second-largest government hospital in the city, is getting ready to open an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) soon.
Authorities of the hospital received 10 ventilators and 10 ICU beds from the health ministry yesterday afternoon.
CGH is one of three hospitals in Chattogram that have been designated by the government for treating Covid-19 patients, and a 100-bed isolation ward has been opened at the hospital. A confirmed coronavirus-positive patient has been undergoing treatment at the hospital since Thursday.
"A technical team from Dhaka would come to the hospital soon to set up the instruments and logistic facilities including central oxygen supply system and negative air pressure," Dr Asim Kumar Nath, superintendent of CGH, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Mamunur Rashid, an associate professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine at Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID), told The Daily Star that most Covid-19 patients die due to respiratory failure, and a hospital designated for treating such patients should have ICU facility.
Among the government hospitals in Chattogram, at present only Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) has a 12-bed ICU.
Prof Dr Masood Ahmed, former head of ICU at CMCH, told this newspaper that an ICU in a government hospital will benefit patients to a great extent. "In a private hospital, patients have to pay Tk 15,000 to Tk 25,000 everyday for ICU support," he said. "Not all patients can afford it."
Dr Hasan Shahriar Kabir, Chattogram divisional director of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told The Daily Star it is now just matter of time to open an ICU in CGH. "Initially, it was decided that five ventilators will be given to CGH, but we requested the ministry to double the number, considering the importance of the hospital for treating Covid-19 patients," he said.