Surge in Covid-19 Cases: Patients struggle as KMCH at capacity
Poritosh came to Khulna Medical College Hospital's dedicated Covid-19 unit all the way from a Moheshkura of Bagerhat's Morelgong upazila on Thursday morning. He came to the hospital with the help of his wife and son, who told this correspondent that he has been unconscious the whole time.
However, unable to find a bed, they had to make a makeshift bed and stay on the floor of the unit in a miserable condition.
They were not alone as many Covid-19 patients were staying on the floor of the unit, unable to find an empty bed.
This is the kind of pressure Khulna region's only "Dedicated Corona Hospital" has been dealing with.
In fact, the situation has got so out of hand that Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) authorities have stopped admitting new patients, as they have run out of beds and space.
Though the total number of beds in the hospital is 100, as of Friday afternoon, it had 143 patients admitted.
Of them, 61 have tested positive, 30 are symptomatic, and 32 patients are in the High-Dependency Unit (HDU). Twenty patients are also being treated at the ICU.
"After Eid, the upward trend in the rate of infection and patients started. The rate is higher in border areas including Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jashore, Chuadanga, and Meherpur, all of which are dependent on KMCH's dedicated coronavirus unit," said Dr Mehedi Nawaz, vice-principal of Khulna Medical College and convenor of the district's coronavirus prevention committee.
Dr Suhash Ranjan Halder, resident medical officer of KMCH and focal person of the dedicated Covid-19 unit, told The Daily Star that the unit currently has more patients than capacity. As such, the authorities have suspended patient admission until the beds are vacated.
"As it is, doctors and nurses are already struggling to handle the pressure. If we admit new patients, we won't be able to care for them properly," he added.
Asked about where newly infected or symptomatic patients of the region will go if they're refused at the only dedicated hospital, Dr Suhash said they don't have a solution as of yet but know that additional Covid-19 units are needed to serve the region's people.
Meanwhile, 38-year-old Al Mamun got admitted to the unit around five days ago. An auto rice mill manager at Itagaccha area of Satkhira, he initially tried to get admitted to Satkhira Medical College Hospital, but could not obtain a bed. This correspondent met him while he was waiting outside the X-ray room yesterday.
His wife Simu Khatun said the journey to Khulna has been really stressful for them, and added to their costs, which is already getting out of hand. According to her, they have to spend over Tk 5,000 on medicines and tests everyday.
To tackle the crisis, at a meeting of Coronavirus Prevention Committee, Khulna District Unit, held at the DC office on Friday, a decision was reached to convert Khulna Sadar Hospital into a Corona Dedicated Hospital.
Sources said the Department of Health and the Ministry of Health will provide the necessity human resources and logistical support for it.
"We've already sent a proposal to the ministry to shift our covid unit to Khulna Sadar Hospital," said committee convenor Dr Mehedi Newaz.
Meanwhile on Thursday, 789 samples of antigen were tested in private clinics and in the RT-PCR of Khulna Medical College Lab, of which 236 came out positive.
In KMCH alone, 337 samples were tested, of which 114 people came out positive on Thursday, at a rate of 29.91 percent.
On Friday, it was 40.67 percent while yesterday it was 34.94 percent.
In the last 24 hours, five people have died while undergoing treatment at the hospital. One of them was corona positive while the rest carried symptoms, said doctors at the hospital.