Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital in the capital — dedicated to coronavirus treatment — is ready to provide service, but it has not yet admitted any patients having the virus.
The hospital authorities said they even did not know when they would start admitting patients.
The hospital has 120 beds and 14 ICUs ready for Covid-19 patients, and duty rosters have also been prepared for doctors and nurses.
Faruk Ahmed, director of the hospital, told The Business Standard, "The health ministry and directorate make decision on admitting patients. We have not yet got any such directive."
"We have been making preparations for two months though there is no end to preparations as such. However, at present we are prepared to provide service for Covid-19 patients," he added.
Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital provided treatment when the first Covid-19 patient was identified in the country on March 8.
At the end of March, Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital, Bangladesh Railway Hospital, Dhaka Mohanagar General Hospital, Mirpur Lalkuthi Hospital, Regent Hospital in Mirpur and Uttara and Sajida Foundation in Jatrabari were announced as dedicated Covid-19 hospitals.
The health directorate used to refer patients to different hospitals but at present patients themselves go to the 15 dedicated hospitals in the capital, Dr Ayesha Akhter, director of health directorate control room, has said.
All the hospitals except Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital are providing treatment at present. The hospital refuses to admit patients.
"Many patients come to the outdoor and many call us for telemedicine service. We provide outdoor and telemedicine services, but our indoor is still empty. There are 120 beds for Covid-19 patients in this 250-bed hospital," said the director of the hospital.
"When there is a scarcity of ICUs in other hospitals in the country, there are 14 ICUs ready for patients, but no patients have been admitted so far. There were 45 nurses and we have recruited 200 new nurses. There is an adequate number of doctors too," said the director.
"The hospital is ready for admitting patients. There is no specific reason why patients are not admitted even after having all types of preparations. The hospital authorities have not been told not to admit patients," said additional secretary to the health ministry Habibur Rahman.
He said he would ask the director of the hospital what permission was required to admit patients, he added.
Earlier, various media reported that Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital was being prepared for VIPs and diplomats. Habibur Rahman, however, said there was no plan for a separate hospital for VIPs.
"There is no VIP among patients. The novel coronavirus attacks everyone irrespective of any class. Similarly, the government service is for everyone," he added.
As of Friday, 42,844 people tested positive for the virus and 582 died from novel coronavirus in the country.