If the coronavirus infection is not controlled, the resulting crisis cannot be addressed even after converting the entire Dhaka city into a hospital, Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said.
He said this at a discussion with the Private Medical Association on Wednesday night.
"The highest number of people died Wednesday night. For us it is a red signal," said the minister.
Zahid observed that the number of Covid-19 patients is on the rise, and if 5,000 people are infected every day, then 500 people would require hospitalisation per day.
The health minister called upon all to stop traveling, marriage ceremony and religious sermon held in gathering.
There is no place to keep patients in public and private hospitals in Dhaka, he said, adding that there is no place in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) either.
"We are making arrangements to increase the number of beds by 2,500 at the government level. But if the infection rate goes out of control, it cannot be dealt with by the service alone. No country has been able to do that."
The minister said work is underway to build a 50-bed ICU and a 200-bed HDO within seven days at North City Corporation Market Hospital, and in 15 days, it will be possible to get a 1,200-bed hospital ready.
If there is a leak, water will spread, but if the dam breaks, it cannot be managed, he made an example.
"Therefore, I urge everyone to protect yourselves and your families as well as your neighbours by following health guidelines. We want to go back to the good condition we were in before."
Calling on the physician leaders, the minister said, "Your hospital is filling up. You are doing a lot of work, doing tests and taking care of patients, but still I want you increase the number of beds by one to one and a half thousands in private sector."
"Even a month ago, our infection rate dropped to 2%. Infections have increased due to not wearing a mask and not following hygiene rules."
"The people of our country became very confident. Our high confidence and our delight turned out to be our crisis and brought miseries."