The Health Services Division also announced that plasma therapy will be used to treat Covid-19 if ongoing medical trials yield a positive result
In order to ensure proper healthcare for the people affected by cyclone Amphan, 1,933 medical teams have been deployed to three coastal divisions.
Chattogram division has the highest number of medical teams – 1,212 – followed by Barishal with 418 and Khulna with 303.
"A sufficient number of medical teams have been prepared for each district as per their needs," said Habibur Rahman Khan, convener of the health media cell and additional secretary (administration) at the Health Services Division.
He was speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at the Secretariat on Wednesday.
He said that all required medicine and other materials essential during a disaster have been sent to every coastal district. Additionally, adequate stocks of water purifying tablets have also been provided.
The field administrations of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief took necessary steps to deal with the cyclone, Habibur said, adding that the prime minister was monitoring all the activities and giving necessary instructions.
At this point, Habibur talked about providing plasma therapy for Covid-19 patients.
He said many Covid-19 patients had recovered by undergoing this therapy in several countries of the world. "It is now at the experimental stage which means that it has potential."
He revealed that Dhaka Medical College Hospital was working on this. "Plasma collection is currently underway. The therapy will be trialled on 45 patients. If the results are positive, plasma therapy will be used in hospitals designated for novel coronavirus patients across the country."
The health services additional secretary also said that, according to the research of medical colleges in Bangladesh, patients infected with novel coronavirus were recovering fast after the administration of the antibiotic doxycycline – with a single dose of antiprotozoal medicine called Ivermectin.
"The government is also considering it as an experiment. If good results are obtained, these drugs can be used in the treatment of the novel coronavirus," he explained.
He said five pharmaceutical companies had already gone into production of Remdesivir – another medicine proven effective for Covid-19 patients. "This drug can be used in Covid-19 treatment if it, too, yields good results."
He added that Dhaka, alone, has 14 hospitals dedicated to novel coronavirus treatment.
He continued by saying Bashundhara hospital is fully prepared for Covid-19 treatment with 71 ICU beds and a sufficient supply of oxygen. Habibur said the hospital will mainly be used as an isolation centre.
He also said Chattogram has four Covid-19 hospitals while the whole country has 110.
"As the number of cases is growing, separate Covid-19 units will be prepared at every hospital in the country," he said.