One Year into First Confirmed Covid Case: Treatment facility in Pabna remains same

The First Covid-19 patient was identified in Pabna on April 16 last year but on year down the line the treatment facility in the district remains the same although now there are several thousand Covid-19 patients in the district.

There is no scope to manage critical patients in the district as the hospitals are not properly equipped yet.

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“The number of Covid-19 patients is increasing still but we have the same old treatment facility as we had a year back. We don’t have PCR lab, 4-bed ICU unit is remaining inoperative, central oxygen supply work in 250-bed Pabna General Hospital is yet to be completed” Dr Saleh Mohammad Ali, medicine consultant and also a specialist doctor for the treatment of Covid-19, said.

“Hospitals are not properly equipped while we are mostly treating patients with mild symptoms here in Pabna,” Dr Saleh said.

“We don’t have the scope to manage critical patients here,” he added.

A total of 2,065 have been tested positive in Pabna of them 193 patients have been identified in last one week. A total of 12 Covid-19 patients have reportedly died in last one year according to the district civil surgeon’s office.

Dr KM Abu Jafar, deputy civil surgeon, said the district health department is whole heartedly trying to install a PCR lab in the district and has already submitted a project of Tk 2.7 crore, which is yet to be sanctioned.

“Due to the lack of testing facility, we are taking samples from the patients and sending Sirajganj’s PCR lab for examination,” the deputy civil surgeon said.

A 100-bed Covid-19 unit is running in Pabna General Hospital’s medicine unit, he added.

Visiting the Pabna General Hospital, it was found that 100-bed Covid-19 unit has been reduced to 50-bed due to less number of patients in the last few months.

Four-bed ICU unit in the hospital is not functioning and the high flow nasal cannula is also not in use due to the lack of central oxygen supply. The work of installing central oxygen supply in the hospital is yet to be completed.

“Due to less number of Covid-19 patients last year, we have allotted 50 beds for medicine unit patients. Suspected patients are kept in isolation and a few patients are admitted in the Covid-19 unit,” Dr Md. Aiyub Hossain, assistant director of Pabna General Hospital, said adding that the hospital authority has preparation to reuse the 100 beds if the surge of the patients further increases.

“Due to lack of central oxygen supply, we cannot operate the ICU unit and the training of doctors and nurses could not be initiated till now to operate the unit.” Md Ruhul, an administrative officer of the hospital said.

Md Aiyub Hossain, however, said “We are trying to run the ICU unit as soon as possible. Selected doctors and nurses will be trained soon for operating the ICU unit.”

The work for installing the central-oxygen supply in the hospital is undergoing but the progress of the work is slow, Aiyub said adding that the work is expected to be finished within the next two months.