Navana Group, one of the largest private-sector corporations of the country, is preparing a 100-bed isolated field hospital at Faujdarhat in Chattogram for treatment of coronavirus patients.
The site was selected because of its proximity to Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID), the only lab in Chattogram that can test for coronavirus, said Hasan Shahriar Kabir, divisional director of the Directorate General or Health Services (DGHS).
Kabir confirmed the development after a team from the health office in Chattogram visited the factory of Aftab Automobiles Limited, a sister concern of Navana Group, in Faujdarhat area of Sitakunda upazila this afternoon.
He told The Daily Star, "Dr Bidduth Barua and Vice Chairman of Navana Group Sajedul Islam took the initiative to build the field hospital in Chattogram for patients who are suffering from coronavirus-like symptoms. Today we went to the factory and saw a two-storey building of 12,000 square feet in Faujdarhat. This place is adjacent to BITID, which is the only coronavirus-testing institute in Chattogram division."
Initially, they plan to build about 100 beds here, and the government will take all kinds of assistance, Kabir said, adding, "Hopefully by April, the hospital will be fully ready."
An ex-student of Dhaka Medical College, Barua on his Facebook page has been urging for the last few days to build a temporary hospital in Chattogram. The Navana Group expressed interest in cooperating by offering their factory building.
On Sunday, Vice-chairman of Navana Group Sajedul Islam, proposed to build a hospital to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Dr Barua, assistant professor at Department of Public Health of the American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB), told The Daily Star, "We are not sure where the situation is headed. So, we should be careful and prepared for any bad situation. I have discussed with my friends about the matter and they have also shown interest in working with me. Later, Navana Group joined us."
Arfadur Rahman, General Manager of Navana Group, said, "We wanted to stand by the country in this crucial time. Initially, we planned to have a field hospital in Dhaka but later we chose Chattogram because it is the city most vulnerable after Dhaka."