The Covid-19 isolation centres in Chattogram are once again the talk of the town due to the continued spike of novel coronavirus cases in the port city.
The number of daily Covid-19 infections in Chattogram had dropped below 100 in August this year, but since October, the infections have risen to around 200 per day and it has been steadily increasing ever since, said Chattogram Civil Surgeon Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi.
Entrepreneurs behind several privately-run isolation centres – which shut down operations in August – said they are ready to reopen these facilities in case coronavirus continues to spread in the region.
After the Covid-19 pandemic hit Bangladesh, individuals and organisations took the initiative to launch eight isolation centres across the port city, but only the Al Manahil Nurture General Hospital remains in operation. The facility is now facing an increased pressure of new patients.
Field Hospital, one of the seven closed facilities, had provided free treatment to Covid-19 patients in Chattogram after the arrival of Covid-19 in Bangladesh.
The hospital shut down in 30 August due to a lack of patients, but Dr Bidyut Barua – the entrepreneur behind the initiative – is ready to launch the facility again.
Speaking to The Business Standard, Dr Barua said, "If the need arises, we will re-launch the Field Hospital with permission from the government. Our facility is ready and fully operational, and we can re-launch on a 24-hour notice."
Other private isolation centres are also gearing up to resume their operations to tackle the possibility of a second wave in Chattogram.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the Corona Isolation Centre, Zinat Sohana said, "We are always ready to sacrifice everything to serve the people of this nation during a crisis. We will continue to serve our people."
Over the last few weeks, the only remaining privately-run Covid-19 isolation centre in Chattogram, AL Manahil Nurture General Hospital, has been facing an increased flow of new Covid-19 patients, despite witnessing a drop in the number of patients in the last two months.
Fresh Covid-19 patients are arriving at the doors of the hospital every day.
Since its inception, the hospital, run by the AL Manahil Welfare Foundation, has been providing treatment to the people free of cost. The facility is increasing the number of HDU and ICU facilities in a bid to tackle a possible second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A doctor at the AL Manahil Nurture General Hospital, Hosne Tabassum said, "The number of Covid-19 patients has increased over the last few days. Some are getting admitted with fever, cold and cough, while others are coming in with diarrhea.
"Some patients are asymptomatic, but they are getting admitted in the hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. A few got tested before travelling overseas, then admitted themselves in the hospital after testing positive."
Responding to a query, AL Manahil Welfare Foundation's Chairman, Helal Uddin bin Jamir Uddin said, "We have seven beds ready with high-flow oxygen machines. We are also making a serious effort to increase the number of ICUs."
Meanwhile, Chattogram Civil Surgeon Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi said, "Under the current circumstances, we feel that the port city needs more Covid-19 isolation centres. We have asked the Bidyanondo Isolation Centre and the Chattogram City Corporation to get ready to re-launch their facilities."