The first field hospital in the country to serve coronavirus patients has been set up in just 20 days.
Chattogram Field Hospital - the 50-bed hospital situated in Faujdarhat - will be open for serving the coronavirus patients from Tuesday.
"Construction work for the hospital began on April 1. Already 50 general beds and five ventilators have been placed. Work for installing 10 intensive care unit (ICU) beds have not yet started. We will start serving from Tuesday. Service will be provided both outdoor and indoor," said public health expert and initiator of the hospital Dr Bidduth Barua.
When asked how patients would be treated, Dr Barua said doctors and hospitals were not admitting patients showing symptoms of the coronavirus like cold and coughing. Such patients are being neglected in various places. So, they volunteer to build a field hospital to serve these patients. Such patients will be treated at Chattogram Field Hospital. Currently, the infrastructure can provide indoor services to 50 patients. Besides, any patient in the outdoors can get treatment.
The hospital will be open for 24 hours.
"Already 15 doctors have joined us. This hospital will have a regular staff of 40 to 50 employees. According to the roster, 3 to 4 doctors will be on duty. Nurses and ward-boys will serve on a roster as well," added Dr Barua.
Mentioning that the hospital is funded by the people, Dr Biddut Barua said everything at the hospital will be free. The hospital authorities will bear the patients' medicine and other costs. An ambulance has also been placed for emergency use.
The hospital has been established in a building in Salimpur owned by Navana Group, adjacent to the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID) in Faujdarhat, Chattogram.
Navana Group allotted the building to set up the field hospital and also donated five ventilators.
"Public health expert Dr Biddut Barua took the initiative to build a field hospital in Chattogram. Sajedul Islam, the vice-chairman of Navana Group, expressed interest in allotting one of the company's buildings for the hospital and a 6,800-square-foot building in Faujdarhat was given on April 1 for the hospital," said Arafatur Rahman, general manager of Navana Group.
"The hospital is already ready. In addition, some medical equipment has already been provided by Navana Group. Besides, I have asked the initiators to ask for any assistance they need," Arafatur added.
Chattogram Divisional Health Office Director Hasan Shahriar Kabir said: "We visited the hospital last Sunday. The hospital is almost ready and will start serving within a few days. There are 50 beds set up there. This sort of initiation is appropriate to fight against the coronavirus. Such initiatives will reduce stress in public hospitals. We have asked the hospital authorities to reach out for any assistance they need."
So far 39 Covid-19 patients have been identified in Chattogram and five have died. The government is treating coronavirus cases at Chattogram General Hospital and the BITID. About 700 health workers are working in Chattogram to fight against the coronavirus.