Country’s three hospitals have been kept ready for coronavirus patients but none of them has an international standard isolation unit
To prevent cross-contamination from room to room in a hospital, the ideal isolation room will have negative room pressure.
In such a room, there will be ventilation that will produce negative pressure to allow air to flow into the isolation room but not to let escape from the room. Air will naturally flow from areas with higher pressure to areas with lower pressure, thus preventing contaminated air from going out of the room.
This kind of ideal isolation room is required for patients with airborne contagious diseases like coronavirus, said infectious disease experts.
Country's three hospitals have been kept ready for coronavirus patients. But the hospitals do not have an international standard isolation unit.
A 10-bed isolation unit has been opened at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Mohakhali, Dhaka where the suspects of getting infected with the virus will be kept.
"But the suspected patients are placed on the beds side by side. Under this situation, if a suspect catches the virus, others will be at a risk of infection," said Dr Sultan Mahmud, junior consultant of the medicine department at the Infectious Disease Hospital.
Understanding the risk, the hospital authorities have planned to separate the beds. To make every bed separate by a partition of Thai glass, they sent a letter to the Public Works Department on February 13. But the Public Works Department has not taken any measures yet.
Health experts, however, opined keeping patients in isolation by separating the beds with the Thai glass partition is not a global standard.
Seeking anonymity, an infectious disease expert, told The Business Standard that air will flow from one end and escape through another in an ideal isolation room with negative pressure. It will not be an ideal isolation with the Thai glass partition.
The country does not have any improved hospital to fight infectious diseases. The atmosphere of the Infectious Disease Hospital in Mohakhali is dirty. Whoever goes there will fall sick, he added.
During a visit to the hospital yesterday, the correspondent found the gathering of rickshaws in front of the hospital gate and free movement of hawkers through the hospital corridors which were evidences of the poor hospital environment.
The hospital environment remains unhealthy despite the government's directive to follow the health guide.
Nevertheless, an isolation unit has been opened in this hospital.
Kurmitola General Hospital and Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Hospital are also kept ready.
A 10-bed quarantine unit has been opened at the Kurmitola General Hospital while the 200-bed Bangladesh Kuwait Friendship Hospital has been ready only for the treatment of coronavirus patients.
Besides, a five-bed quarantine unit has been opened at every hospital of the country.
Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, said if any patient does like the environment of the hospitals, they go to private hospitals.
They set up an Intensive Care Unit and a dialysis unit at the Bangladesh Kuwait Friendship Hospital for coronavirus patients, she added.