Amid rising incidents of Covid-19 infection and record death tolls in the last couple of weeks, many people were seen rushing to various hospitals in the capital to have Covid-19 tests on Thursday, the second day of the seven-day lockdown.
There were many people at hospital premises waiting to submit samples for Covid-19 tests. Many have said that they had to suffer a lot as they could not manage a means of transport for coming to the hospital due to the lockdown.
At 10:30 am on Thursday, a long queue of people was found before the main gate of Mugda General Hospital, dedicated to treating Covid-19 patients. The crowd increased as the day progressed.
Among them was Sathi Akhter, who came to the hospital from Rampura early in the morning. She told The Business Standard (TBS) that her mother Shilpi Begum, 62, had been suffering from fever and cold for around five days.
She was brought to the hospital in the morning after she started having severe respiratory problems last night. But the hospital authorities said she had to submit the sample for the Covid-19 test before she could be provided with treatment.
"I came here at 6am. It has been three hours since I arrived here but could not yet submit the samples," she added.
Another person, Jobayer Ahmed, a small clothes trader, brought his mother Jobaida Khatun, 65, to the hospital from Keraniganj.
He said that his mother had been suffering from fever, cold, flu and severe breathing problems for the last five days. She fainted in the morning and was too weak to walk.
"After waiting for two hours for a mode of transport, I managed to bring my mother here by a rickshaw and a CNG auto-rickshaw," he added.
He said he was yet to admit his mother to the hospital as he had to submit samples for the Covid-19 test for her. The hospital authorities said she would be admitted after the test if there was any vacant seat.
"I am still waiting for the test, whereas my mother's condition is so critical that she is feeling short of breath. She may die if she is not provided with oxygen.
I lost my father when I was 13. If I lose my mother due to lack of treatment, I will be an orphan," he said in a tearful voice.
Some people who went to the hospital for the Covid-19 tests said that the queue was so long that they doubted if everyone's sample could be collected.
Meanwhile, the situation was the same at Dhaka Medical College but the crowd for the tests was a little less in the afternoon.
A woman named Umm Habiba told TBS that she had brought her father from Suhrawardy Medical College to Dhaka Medical College in the morning and faced similar problems.
"I have been waiting for three hours but have not received any test report yet," she said.
"The hospital authorities say it is no longer possible to issue the report today. I will get the report tomorrow morning. They will not admit a patient without the report," she added.
In the meantime, patients and their relatives suffered through a transport crisis on Thursday due to the lockdown. People were seen in front of hospitals waiting for ambulances or other means of transport.
Mugda General Hospital Director Asim Kumar Nag said, "The number of patients of all ages who come to the hospital for sample testing has increased. We can test 188 samples daily, but the patients are several times higher in number."
He complained that some patients arrived early in the morning and crowded in front of the hospital. They were not scheduled to come at the same time. For example, those who were told to come in the morning came at noon.
"At present, we are trying to provide adequate oxygen services to those who have been admitted and 52% of the patients require oxygen," he added.
"We request that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms seek medical advice immediately. Not everyone has to be hospitalised. Patients can stay home and take advice from doctors."