Dr Asadul Mazid Nomaan will resume his duty at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the novel coronavirus-dedicated Mugda General Hospital on May 25 – which could be Eid day – after his 14-day quarantine period ends.
He will again go into quarantine after finishing his Covid-19 duty for seven days at a stretch from Eid day. As per the duty roster, other doctors and nurses of Dr Nomaan's team will do the same.
Dr Nomaan told The Business Standard that he will celebrate the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr in the hospital without his family members. He will meet his family members 21 days after he finishes his duty and subsequent quarantine period.
"There is nothing to feel bad about. We cannot ignore our responsibilities at this time of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Our joy of Eid is to try and save Covid-19 patients who are fighting for their lives at the ICU," Dr Nomaan said.
The frontline workers – doctors, nurses and medical staff – at all Covid-19 hospitals will be on duty during the upcoming Eid as they need to put in long hours and consecutive shifts to help novel coronavirus patients.
The health ministry cancelled the leaves of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers after the novel coronavirus made inroads in the country. The number of deaths from Covid-19 and new cases is increasing with each passing day. In this situation, all healthcare activities, alongside novel coronavirus testing, will continue even on Eid holidays.
Non-Covid-19 hospitals will also continue their usual activities to provide patients with proper medical care.
Authorities of different government and autonomous hospitals in Dhaka said no one will get leave during the pandemic. All have to stay at the hospitals in keeping with the roster and to render health services to patients.
Dr Mohammad Shehab Uddin, supervisor of the Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Hospital, said, "Our hospital will run as usual as per the roster during Eid holidays. None can be given leave during this crisis. So, this year's Eid will be quite different for us."
Brig Gen Kazi Md Rashid Un Nabi, director at Sir Salimullah Medical College and Mitford Hospital, said, "Many of our doctors have contracted Covid-19 and most of them resumed their duties after recovering from it. However, now, more third and fourth class employees in the hospitals are contracting the virus. I hope there will be no problem in providing healthcare to patients during Eid holidays."
"Shahid Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital arranges special duty for doctors, nurses and other staff during Eid every year. However, this year the hospital will continue its usual operations. So, there is no need for such an arrangement," said Dr Uttam Barua, director at the hospital.
"There might come a directive from the health ministry to keep the outpatient section closed on Eid day. However, its inpatient and emergency department will remain open," Dr Uttam Barua added.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University's outpatient department will remain open the day before Eid but it will be closed on Eid day and the following day. The hospital's emergency and inpatient departments will be kept open.
When asked if the health ministry has any special instructions on patient management in hospitals during Eid holidays, Habibur Rahman Khan, additional secretary (admin) of the Health Service Division and health ministry spokesperson, said, "Every hospital has to treat patients, no one may turn them away. Although we have already instructed them in this regard, we are still receiving some complaints. We will issue a directive to them again in a day or two for accepting patients for treatment. If the hospitals do not follow the instruction, actions will be taken against them."
"Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, leaves of all staff members and officials engaged in the health sector have been cancelled. The hospital activities will continue as usual during this Eid. Hospital directors and civil surgeons have been informed about this," he added.