Ripa, a resident of Narayanganj city, got admitted to a private hospital in Siddhirganj with fever on Tuesday.
The following day, the doctors there referred the 26-year-old woman to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, suspecting she had been infected with dengue.
When her husband, Amzad Hossain, brought her to the DMCH that night, he found that no seat was available at the medicine wards of the hospital. Even its floors were occupied by patients.
Later, he managed a small space for his wife on the fifth floor of the hospital.
“I bought a mattress and a pillow for Tk 300 from a shop near the hospital… She has to get treatment lying on that mattress,” he told this newspaper.
Like Ripa, many other dengue patients are left with no option but to undergo treatment, lying on mattresses, bedsheets or blankets on hospital floors.
The rush of dengue patients at the hospital has shot up over the last few days.
According to the DMCH data, of the 800 beds in its medicine wards, 456 were occupied by dengue patients till yesterday morning. The number was around 200 last week. At least 112 dengue patients were admitted to the hospital yesterday.
The picture was similar at other government hospitals and many private hospitals in the capital, which are struggling to handle the rush of dengue patients.
HM Nazmul Ahsan, associate professor at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, said they are now handling 165 dengue patients against their capacity of 60.
Many of these patients are getting treatment, staying at the hospital’s veranda and walkways, he said.
Scores of private hospitals in the capital are compelled to send back dengue patients for not having the capacity to accommodate them.
“We have to send back 10-12 dengue patients every day for a lack of accommodation at our hospital,” said Dr Pradip Saha, emergency medical officer at Salahuddin Specialised Hospital in the city’s Hatkhola.
“Around 10 dengue patients are coming to our hospital every day. Now 35 patients are under treatment here,” said Poli Rani Biswas, nurse-in-charge of the 300-bed hospital.
Kinkar Ghosh, an epidemiologist at Dhaka Shishu Hospital, said they could not admit many dengue patients as they don’t have the capacity to accommodate more than 670 patients.
Now, 73 dengue patients are undergoing treatment at the hospital, said Kinkar.
Data from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) show that 9,256 people were infected with dengue until yesterday. And eight people have died of dengue so far.
Sources at city hospitals, however, put the number at 28.
They said the number could be higher as many dengue cases go unreported.
In 24 hours since 8:00am on Wednesday, 547 new dengue cases were reported at hospitals, the DGHS data show.
The rush of dengue patients has created a seat crisis in the capital’s hospitals, putting patients in trouble.
Quamrul Islam Tusher, who works at a telecommunications firm in the capital, said one of his colleagues had great difficulties in admitting his 40-day-old baby girl to hospital on Wednesday night
“The baby has been suffering from severe cold. My colleague took her to the emergency section of a private hospital in Bashundhara Residential Area. He waited there for three hours, but no seat was available at the hospital.
“He then went to at least six more hospitals, including Dhaka Shishu Hospital, but could not find any seat vacant. Finally, he returned home at 2:00am on Thursday.”
Tusher said his colleague finally managed to get his baby admitted to Samorita Hospital yesterday.
SEPARATE WARD AT CMH
A separate ward for dengue patients has been opened at the Combined Military Hospital in the capital, Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed said yesterday.
He said this after inaugurating a mosquito eradication campaign in Dhaka Cantonment area, according to the website of the Inter Services Public Relations.
IT’S ALL “RUMOUR”
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon yesterday claimed the spread of news of 3.5 lakh people getting infected with dengue and the rumour of child abduction are intertwined.
Addressing a programme at a city hotel, he said, “The government will foil this conspiracy with a heavy hand.”
The DSCC yesterday fined the owners of nine under-construction buildings Tk 2.70 lakh as it found larvae of Aedes mosquitoes inside those.
In drives for the last four days, the DSCC teams visited 243 under-construction buildings and found larvae in 31 of those.
Yesterday, they inspected 89 under-construction buildings.
Meanwhile, Sylhet and Barisal city corporations started a weeklong mosquito eradication and cleanliness campaign in the two cities.