There are 14,000 Covid-19 designated beds in the country and only 60% are occupied
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said 40% of some 14,000 beds designated for Covid-19 patients are still vacant.
“It’s not like that patients are not getting treatment in any hospital of Bangladesh. As of today, we have 60% of the beds occupied while 40% are still vacant. We’ve some 14,000 beds for corona patients,” he said.
The minister was responding to allegations brought by the opposition lawmakers while discussing their cut-motions regarding Tk22,883.86 crore demand in grant for the Health Services Division on Tuesday, reports UNB.
The health minister said high-flow oxygen lines are essential for Covid-19 patients. So, the government has taken an initiative for arranging 1,000 high-flow oxygen or central oxygen lines and 10,000 new oxygen cylinders.
About the allegations of irregularities in hotels and food costs of doctors and health workers of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, the minister said that the allegations were not correct as some 3,700 people stayed there in 50 hotels for a month, and Tk500 was given as food cost for three meals a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
"The rent for each room was Tk 1,100 per day," he added.
Noting that the costs were not so high, he said adding: “The food cost that was said to be [in allegation] is not correct."
Zahid Maleque said that now there is no allegation about the standard of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“The government has already sent 3 million PPEs to different hospitals,” he added.
He said now every private hospital is providing medical treatment although their service charges are high to some extent. "The government will fix service charges."
The minister said there was an outcry for ventilators initially, but now it seems there is no need for that. “We’ve some 400 ventilators. But, 50 of those are not used. Most of the patients put under ventilator support died."
He said the Covid-19 death rate among the infected people is low due to the measures taken by the government.
“The government has recruited some 2,000 doctors and 6,000 nurses within a quick time to deliver medical services to coronavirus patients, increased the number of hotlines to 50 from five, introduced telemedicine services, prepared patient guidelines, a modern protocol for doctors and other health workers,” he added.
As of Tuesday, 145,483 people have been infected by Covid-19 whereas 1,847 have died from the disease in Bangladesh.
Till now, the pandemic has taken the lives of 508,633 and infected 10,429,855 people across the world, according to worldometer.