Three patients suffering from Covid-19 died while being evacuated from a dedicated intensive care unit (ICU) at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, after a fire broke out there on Wednesday morning.
The trio who died during the incident are – Kishore Chandra Roy, 70, Abdullah Al Mahmud, 48, and Kazi Golam Mostafa, 63. Among them, Kishore is a resident of Birganj upazila under Dinajpur, while Mostafa was a residence of Dakshinkhan area of Dhaka.
A ten-member committee – formed by DMCH Director Brig Gen Nazmul Haque and headed by the hospital's anesthesiology department Chairman Prof Dr Mohammad Mozaffar Hossain – has been formed to investigate the deaths.
The committee is scheduled to submit a report within the next seven working days.
The fire broke out at the Corona Unit ICU situated in the new building of the hospital around 8:10am. The three patients died during evacuation, and not due to burns caused by the fire, DMCH Director Nazmul Haque told the media.
He added that when smoke started coming out of the ICU, the hospital staff began evacuating the patients into another ICU with the goal to protect them from the fire. Three patients died during the process.
"The fire quickly spread throughout the ICU due to the oxygen line, and burned many equipment there. There has been a lot of damage," Haque said.
Kamrul Hasan, on-duty officer of the fire service control room, said five of their units brought the fire under control around 8:30am. The cause of the fire and the damage will be reported at a later time, he added.
DMCH deputy director Alauddin Al Azad said 14 Covid-19 patients were undergoing treatment at that ICU, and three among them died during the fire incident.
The ICU facility suffered major damage from the fire and the hospital authorities fear that it might take days to repair it, hospital sources said. Currently, more than 500 Covid-19 patients are undergoing treatment at the DMCH Covid-19 units.