The hospital, in Mohakhali, Dhaka, was supposed to be fully operational by the end of April, according to top government officials
The DNCC Covid hospital is set to add 150 more ICU beds next week, when it will be fully operational with a total of 1,000 beds with oxygen, along with a new pathology and radiology unit.
When the government inaugurated the dedicated Covid-19 hospital at the DNCC Market in Mohakhali area on April 18, top officials including the health minister vowed to make it fully operational by the end of April. But it did not happen.
Installation of the additional beds, and collection of the equipment for the pathology and radiology unit took much time than expected, according to hospital sources.
The building had been built for the traders relocating from Karwan Bazar and many of the shops were sold out. Later the government decided to make it an isolation center in the wake of Covid outbreak last year.
The hospital was launched partially with 250 beds – 50 ICU beds, 50 emergency beds with High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) and 150 general beds – due to the sudden rise in the number of coronavirus patients since late March, and the shortage of ICU beds in government and private hospitals.
In the first 10 days of operation, some 810 patients have taken treatment at the hospital at low cost. Of them, 279 took admission till Wednesday.
There are 200 doctors, 300 nurses, 200 health assistant and other staff, and 150 health service providers of Bangladesh Army working at the hospital, which is the largest Covid-dedicated facility in the country.
The hospital director, Brig Gen AKM Nasir Uddin, said that around 800 beds had already been prepared for treatment of Covid patients.
“Some 200 beds at the ICUs, 222 beds at the HDUs [High Dependency Unit] under six wards and over 375 cabin beds have already been readied,” he said on Thursday.
The hospital would be fully operational by next week adding the rest of the 200 beds.
The authorities have completed setting up the pathology lab, but are yet to receive the CT-scan machine from Dental Medical College, and an X-Ray machine from the CMSD.
Pointing at the mad rush for ICU beds, the hospital director said that a good number of patients had been treated at the ICUs. “Once their condition improves, they are transferred to the cabin for observation for a few days before being discharged.”
He also expressed discontent, saying that many relatives had taken the patients back home once they recovered from critical condition, without completing the clinical procedure.