Jamal Uddin, 72, was taken to an isolation centre in Halishahar on Monday evening after he was refused admission to three private hospitals.
At that time, he was suffering from a lack of oxygen – the oxygen level was 72 percent and he had shortness of breath.
Immediately after providing oxygen, Jamal Uddin's physical condition returned to normal. At around 9 pm, he had 90 percent oxygen in his body.
Not only Jamal Uddin, the isolation centres – set up by the private initiatives for the treatment of Covid-19 Chittagong – are helping to save the lives of many patients in this way.
While private hospitals are rejecting patients suspected of having Covid-19, the isolation centres are standing by them.
Four isolation centres have already been set up in Chattogram. These centres have more than 400 beds. Additionally, another isolation centre with 100 beds is being set up at the Patenga airport area.
According to public health experts, isolation centres reduce the risk of infection. Doctors echo the view saying the centres help prevent novel coronavirus infections.
Shaila Tasnuva, a doctor of medicine at Chattogram Medical College Hospital said, "There is no alternative to isolation for preventing Covid-19 infections. If symptoms appear, the patient needs immediate isolation to reduce the risks."
Covid-19 spread in Chattogram as there are an insufficient number of isolation centres, she added.
Chattogram City Corporation built the largest isolation centre of 250 beds in Agrabad. Already it has started treating patients through inpatient and outpatient facilities. There are about 100 oxygen cylinders available at the centre.
Another 100-bed isolation centre was built in Halishahar area within 12 days of efforts from youths – including Nurul Azim Rony, former general secretary of city Chhatra League.
Patient admission has already been started at the centre.
"There is no government isolation centre in Chattogram. There are no empty beds in the dedicated hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19. Consequently, people are unable to be admitted to the hospitals," said Nurul Azim Rony.
"Many are moving around with Covid-19 symptoms, and thus the virus is spreading. However, as doctors said there is no alternative to isolation, for preventing Covid-19 infections, we built the isolation centre," he added.
The mini isolation centre at Hamidchar of Chandgaon has become famous. Young businessman Iqbal Hossain set up this five-bed isolation centre at his own initiative for impoverished people. The centre has oxygen cylinders, pulse oximeters, nebulizers, as well as full-time doctors.
Services have also already started at a 50-bed isolation centre set up in the port area.
This centre was set up at the initiative of some doctors in the area and with the financial support of wealthy people. The entrepreneur of this isolation centre, Dr Hossain Ahmed, said that they had started outpatient services. Inpatient admission will start this week, he added.
Meanwhile, a 100-bed isolation centre has been built at BK Convention in Butterfly Park adjacent to Chattogram Airport. Treatment facilities will begin at this centre from July 1. The centre is sponsored by a volunteer organisation called Bidyananda. Chattogram Metropolitan Police are providing security and other assistance at the isolation centre.
Jamal Hossain, Bidyananda's volunteer in Chattogram said the work to build the isolation centre is underway.
"We have received all the medical equipment. Now its installation is underway and we can provide treatment from July 1," he said.
So far, the number of Covid-19 cases in Chattogram has already exceeded 5,000 while over a hundred people have died so far.
Every day, some 200 to 250 people contract the virus. So, isolation is necessary to contain Covid-19 there.
Chattogram Civil Surgeon Sheikh Fazle Rabbi said, "Due to limitations, we are unable to provide treatment for everyone. The private isolation centres have reduced the pressure. We need more isolation centres in Chattogram to prevent further Covid-19 outbreaks."