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Dhaka Tribune

IOM opens new Covid-19 isolation, treatment centers in Cox’s Bazar

Save the Children has also opened a new 60-bed isolation and treatment centre in Teknaf on Saturday to provide life-saving care for suspected Covid-19 patients from the Rohingya refugee camps and the local community

Update : 28 Jun 2020, 12:48 PM

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has opened two new Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment Centers (SARI ITC) in Teknaf and Ukhia upazilas for treating Covid-19 patients amidst the pandemic.

The SARI ITCs were opened in collaboration with the office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) during last week, said a press release on Sunday, reports UNB.

In the two new specialized Covid-19 healthcare facilities, 47 SARI ITC beds are currently available. The capacity will increase to a total of 110 beds as facilities ramp up operations in July.

"The opening of 47 SARI ITC beds is only a small, visible part of the larger planned effort for the 250-bed capacity SARI ITC - planned by the Government of Bangladesh and the Health Sector," said Dr Samir Howlader, for IOM Emergency Health Program in Cox's Bazar.

IOM has been contributing in other ways including contact tracing, home-based care referral, and risk communication in the community, he added.

In addition to the aforementioned SARI ITCs, IOM's Migrant Health Division (MHD) has upgraded two existing primary health care facilities in Cox's Bazar to do sentinel testing and temporarily isolate suspected patients to organize further referrals.

On the other hand, IOM continues to coordinate with the Directorate General of Health Services, Civil Surgeon Office and the World Bank to support government isolation centres at Chakaria and Ramu upazilas in Cox's Bazar.

As of June 27, 47 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Rohingya settlements.

The humanitarian community remains engaged in a multifaceted response to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Additional resources and support are being provided to doctors and health workers at health facilities within Rohingya refugee camps and host communities of the district.

Save the Children opens another SARI ITC

Save the Children has opened a new 60-bed isolation and treatment centre in Teknaf on Saturday to provide life-saving care for suspected Covid-19 patients from the Rohingya refugee camps and the local community.

This Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment Centre (SARI ITC) is located in camp 21, Chakmarkur Union in Teknaf Upazila. In consultation with the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) in Cox’s Bazar, this isolation and treatment centre is constructed in accordance with the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The centre will start providing health services from July 4, 2020. 

With some Covid positive cases and deaths, in the densely packed Rohingya refugee camps - where latrines and washing facilities are shared, and hand washing, social distancing, and self- isolation are virtually impossible – a major and rapid outbreak is now imminent. The adjacent areas of Bangladeshi people are also at similar risk.

To serve these people, Save the Children has built the isolation and treatment centre with support from UK Aid and UNOPS. 

Since the construction phase, Save the Children has engaged the upazila administration, Rohingya community leaders and the local people and leaders from the host community to discuss and improve its service provision. 

Spot visits were also carried out involving the CIC of camp 21, Teknaf Upazila Chirman, and others. Later, Save the Children formed a SARI ITC support committee jointly with local communities for ensuring accountability to the community and also ensuring their representation, mitigate local challenges, and to provide necessary recommendation for the betterment of this centre.

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