Govt earlier announced stadiums across the country would also be used as makeshift coronavirus treatment facilities
The authorities are considering turning idle coaches of Bangladesh Railway (BR) into quarantine and isolation centres to treat Covid-19 patients, if the coronavirus situation in the country worsens further.
“We haven’t decided yet. However, if such support is needed, we will do it as our train operations are currently suspended,” said Railway Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan on Wednesday.
“Trains go to many remote areas of the country where such treatment facilities have not been available so far for Covid-19 patients. Idle train coaches can be utilised to treat patients,” he told Dhaka Tribune.
In India, Indian Railway Minister Piyush Goyal also announced that his team would convert coaches of some trains into isolation wards.
Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora confirmed that two more had died of Covid-19, a new strain of coronavirus, in Bangladesh in the last 24 hours, taking the total to eight.
At the same time, nine new cases of coronavirus infection have also been confirmed. As of now, 70 people have been infected across the country.
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus patient on March 8. As the situation deteriorated, the government primarily announced a 10-day public holiday from March 26 to April 4, which has now been further extended to April 11.
Besides, Bangladesh Railway has kept all passenger train operations in suspension across the country since March 24.
Railway Hospital ready
“We have already renovated Kamalapur Railway Hospital to attend to infected patients as part of the battle against the virus,” said Railway Minister Sujan.
Bangladesh Railway has eight hospitals across the country. BR hospital in Dhaka’s Kamalapur has temporarily been turned into a dedicated coronavirus treatment hospital.
The Health Ministry has been installing necessary equipment in the hospital and deploying medical staff to man the hospital.
“Yesterday, I visited the hospital, which is almost ready for treatment,” said the Railway Minister.
“Following the Prime Minister’s guidelines, we have developed Bangladesh Railway hospital for treating patients with coronavirus,” said Dr ASM Emtiaz, chief physician of Bangladesh Railway.
Replying to a query, he told Dhaka Tribune: “Railway Hospital in Kamalapur was a 75-bed hospital which will now accommodate 100-beds for coronavirus infected patients.”
Earlier, the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced that all the stadiums of the country, including the cricket and indoor stadium in Dhaka, would be temporarily turned into hospitals for coronavirus affected patients.