While hospitals in Brahmanbaria are facing a shortage of oxygen amid the alarming surge in Covid-19 cases in the district and indeed much of the country, a Facebook-based voluntary organisation, Baunbairar Kota, has come forward with a helping hand to tackle the challenge.
With a slogan of 'Nishhash Nebe Brahmanbaria' (Brahmanbaria will breathe), this social organisation has established an oxygen bank to meet the growing demand for medical oxygen, a life-saving element for Covid-19 patients in critical condition.
With this initiative formally launched on Thursday, the organisation will provide oxygen cylinders to Covid infected patients free of cost.
Volunteers will go to the doorsteps of patients with oxygen cylinders when people in need call the organisation's hotline number.
Besides this new initiative, Baunbairar Kota also helped people with food support when the Covid-19 global pandemic first hit the country last year.
According to the district's civil surgeon office, a total of 7,155 people were diagnosed with the coronavirus disease in the district, with 92 deaths till Wednesday.
Sources said, while more than 50 patients were undergoing treatment in the isolation unit of Brahmanbaria General Hospital, the district's only corona-dedicated hospital, it has faced severe oxygen shortages since Wednesday evening.
Baunbairar Kota launched their oxygen bank so that critical Covid patients can receive uninterrupted oxygen support in any such crisis.
The social organisation currently has a team of 30 trained members to operate their oxygen bank. They launched the service with 20 oxygen cylinders which will gradually be increased to 100.
The hotline numbers of the organization are 01716 710064, 01716 710065, 01716 710066, and 01716 710067.
Dr Mahbubur Rahman Emil, group admin of Baunbairar Kota, said, "Initially we have launched our service with 20 cylinders which will be increased to 100. Any and all patients, rich or poor, can get oxygen support from us free of charge."
"We need concerted efforts to overcome the unprecedented situation created by the pandemic and this is the only thing motivating us to make this move," he added.