'We have already put work on the hospital and isolation centre on hold. The Army was about to begin, but we have already informed them of our decision to halt the process'
The Hospitals and Clinics Section of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has indefinitely put on hold all work on the specialized hospital and isolation centre at Mohakhali DNCC Market.
DGHS Director (Hospital) Aminul Hasan disclosed the matter to Dhaka Tribune, asked about progress on the hospital and the recent decline in patients.
“We have already put work on the hospital and isolation centre on hold. The Army was about to begin, but we have already informed them of our decision to halt the process,” the DGHS director said.
Asked what would happen to any medical equipment that had been acquired for the hospital, he said no medical equipment had been installed at the location yet. Only the beds and initial preparations had been completed.
“We have made the decision considering the current situation. If the situation after Eid or at any time demands that the hospital be opened, we are fully prepared and would be able to open it in a short time,” Aminul added.
ISPR Director, Lt Col Abdullah Ibn Zaid, said he had not been informed of the matter but they are doing what the Health Ministry asked them to do.
Director of DNCC Isolation Centre, Brig Gen Zobaidur Rahman, said they are just helping the government manage health facilities in a disciplined way, assisting with ensuring proper health care services for those in need.
“We are ready to admit patients at any time, following the order of the ministry concerned. We are assisting them with collecting samples from people who are scheduled to go abroad. We will provide our assistance in the form they want,” he added.
Brig Gen Zobaidur also said they have already received the first phase of medicine for treatment.
Visiting the hospital early this month, it was seen that all the beds had already been set up from the first to fourth floors. The beds were set up with a minimum four feet of distance between them.
On each floor, there is a medicine store, changing room, common washroom, and drinking water facilities. The remodelling of the existing DNCC market was implemented by the Health Engineering Department.
There are some booths on the fifth floor where the specialized hospital ICU beds and laboratory were supposed to be set up.
To check the infection status of patients at the isolation centre a good number of kiosks are set up on the ground floor and on the floor where the administration block has been set up.
After visiting the site of the makeshift 2,000-bed dedicated Covid-19 hospital at Bashundhara Convention Centre on April 29, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said a makeshift 1,300-bed hospital and isolation centre would be set up at the Mohakhali DNCC Market, and a 1,200-bed isolation centre at Uttara Diabari.
He had hoped that the makeshift hospitals would open in a month.
The Bashundhara Convention Center makeshift hospital was inaugurated on May 17 but progress on the Mohakhali one was lagging.