A doctor of the hospital said 250-300 physicians and nurses are working in the hospital in different shifts, and are maintaining precautionary measures while on duty
There is an eerie sense of calm around the building. The entrance is locked, but despite that, it is heavily guarded by a dozen Ansar members, all wearing face masks.
From outside, it is hard to tell if there is anyone inside.
A note taped to the entrance says public entry is prohibited.
A few staff members – all wearing masks like the guards – enter or exit the facility at infrequent intervals. It has been almost half an hour but no patient or doctor has been seen inside or out.
The building's three other entrances are also locked, but not guarded.
There are cafes, restaurants and a school around the building, and a few passers-by walk past it. But despite that, the facility still gives the impression that it is in lockdown.
This was the state at the Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital on Thursday afternoon. It stands on three acres of land in Sector 6 at the Uttara area of the capital.
A notice at the entrance declares that the hospital is being used as an isolation centre in the wake of the global outbreak of coronavirus.
Wearing hand gloves and a mask, a man was sitting on a chair a few steps away from the front entrance. He identified himself as a cleaner when this correspondent asked him to come close.
Hedayet Ullah said he did not know exactly how many patients are in the hospital.
"Families and relatives bring food for the patients, but they are not allowed inside. So, we receive the food from them and take it to the patients," he said.
Adjacent to the hospital is the Life Preparatory School. The school's guard, Shahadat Hossain, said he had seen three patients brought to the hospital by ambulance in the morning.
He also said the three had returned from abroad.
Salahuddin is the owner of Siam General Store near the hospital. He said people were consciously avoiding the area after the hospital was declared as the isolation centre for coronavirus patients.
"People are certainly scared of coronavirus. Before the hospital was declared as an isolation centre, families and relatives would come and visit the patients. Now the situation is completely different.
"No one comes here. My business has also slowed in the last few days," added Salahuddin.
Government officials said the Kuwait-Bangladesh hospital has 200 beds for coronavirus patients. The hospital also has dialysis and intensive care unit facilities.
Dr Aminul Hasan, director (hospital and clinic) of the health directorate, said the Kuwait-Bangladesh hospital was deemed a safe choice for quarantining and treating coronavirus patients.
"Even though the hospital is in a residential area, coronavirus is not airborne. Moreover, considering the situation in other hospitals, it was the only one that was easy to be vacated and reserved exclusively for coronavirus patients," he explained.
In addition to the Kuwait-Bangladesh hospital, 400 beds have been prepared in different hospitals in Dhaka for coronavirus patients.
The other hospitals include the Kurmitola General Hospital, the Infectious Diseases Hospital and the Combined Military Hospital.
Requesting anonymity, a doctor of Kuwait-Bangladesh hospital said over phone that nine patients are in isolation in the hospital at present but "their condition is not critical".
He said three people had so far been tested positive for coronavirus in the hospital and they had recovered already.
Another 50-60 people had been kept in isolation and they had been released too, said the doctor.
He also said 250-300 doctors and nurses are working in the hospital in different shifts, and are maintaining precautionary measures while on duty.
"We also follow World Health Organisation guidelines for doctors treating coronavirus patients. So, when we return home after the shift, our family members are not at any risk," added the physician.