The writ also sought a High Court order, asking the government to acquire all the ICUs of private hospitals to be used in battling the pandemic
The High Court has ordered the state to report by Wednesday on the total number of intensive care units (ICUs) in the country both in government and non-governmental hospitals.
The court also directed that it be informed whether the dedicated hotlines were informing people about the availability of beds for admission in different hospitals.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim asked the state lawyers to submit a report in this regard at a virtual hearing on Sunday.
Additional Attorney General Murad Reza, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukder, joined the virtual hearing, representing the state.
The court fixed Wednesday for further orders to be issued by it.
Supreme Court lawyer Yadia Zaman filed the writ on Sunday in this regard on behalf of Dr Abdullah Al Mamun, deputy registrar at BSMMU.
The writ was filed with the High Court seeking an order for the formation of a central bed bureau to manage hospital beds well , and ensure proper treatment to people during the pandemic.
The writ also sought a High Court order asking the government to acquire all ICUs of private hospitals to be used in battling the pandemic.
The writ provided a Dhaka Tribune report, published on March 21 titled, “Number of ICU beds insufficient to combat Covid-19 pandemic,” as an annex to it.
Citing experts' opinion, the report had focused on whether Bangladesh was prepared fully to combat the threat imposed by the deadly coronavirus, as things might take an alarming shape in the future.
In line with international standards, a 100-bed hospital should have at least five ICUs. In reality, hospitals in Bangladesh have only 1,169 ICU beds (432 govt, 737 private) in total against a population of 161,356,039 people, the report said.
Moreover, when it comes to the number of general beds, the country has only 141,903, which translates to only eight (8.7) beds for every 10,000 Bangladeshis, the report added.
Citing DGHS data, the report said Bangladesh only has 1,034 Coronary Care Unit (CCU) beds, which is significantly disproportionate to its population.