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Fire at DMCH Covid ICU unit: Death toll reaches 4

  • Published at 08:24 pm March 18th, 2021
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A total of 14 Covid-19 patients were undergoing treatment at the DMCH ICU facility that caught on fire on Wednesday morning , March 17, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

The probe body formed by Fire Service and Civil Defence will submit its report in 15 days

Another patient on life support at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) has died as a result of the fire incident at the Covid-19 ICU unit.

The patient, Momena Begum, 45, passed away on Thursday afternoon while undergoing treatment at the ICU unit in DMCH.

DMCH Resident Surgeon Ariful Islam Nobin confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.

With the latest development, the death toll from the fire now stands at four. Three others died while  being evacuated from the ICU unit on Wednesday.

Following the fire incident on Wednesday, Momena and nine others were moved to the ICU of the erstwhile burn unit of DMCH, DMCH Director Brigadier General Nazmul Haque said.

Another patient was taken to a private hospital.

The patients receiving treatment at DMCH are Selim, 52, Monirul Islam, 50, Rekha, 35, Enamul Haque, 65, Khandaker Abdur Rashid, 60, Shahin Alam, 32, Sahida, 50, Shahidul Islam, 56, and Nazrul Islam, 60.

The duty doctor at the ICU unit said one patient, Khandaker Abdur Rashid, was on life support and another one was in the post-operative ward. The rest of the patients were in stable condition.

Fire service probe body

Meanwhile, the probe body formed by the Fire Service and Civil Defence will submit its report in 15 days over the fire at the Covid-19 ICU unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Deputy Director Nur Hasan, who is heading the probe committee, was speaking after visiting the scene on Thursday.

“We have started our investigation. We will know about the cause of the fire and the extent of damage when we submit our report in 15 days,” he said.

Earlier, the investigation team visited the ICU unit of the hospital and questioned hospital staff who were on duty at the time of the incident.

ICUs and HDUs to increase

The DMCH director said the authorities were increasing the number of ICUs and HDUs dedicated for Covid-19 patients.

He said: “We have increased the number of HDUs from today [Thursday]. We hope patients can be admitted there from the evening.”

Brigadier General Nazmul Haque said there were 14 beds in the ICU of the former burn unit which was increased to 20. Additionally, 20 more beds in HDU would be available in the new building and burn unit. Ten more ICU beds would be added in a week.

A total of 532 coronavirus patients and suspected coronavirus patients are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.

What happened earlier

On Wednesday, a fire broke out at the Covid-19 ICU unit of DMCH. Altogether 14 patients were under treatment at the time.

Hospital authorities suspected the fire had originated from a monitor of the ICU. The fire also burned all machinery and beds in the unit.

Since the fire outbreak, three probe bodies have been formed by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), DMCH and Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters to investigate the incident.

Earlier on January 7, another fire broke out in the hospital’s emergency department. However, no casualties were reported in the incident.

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