One year into pandemic: ICU at Tangail General Hospital still elusive

Although the Covid-19 situation is deteriorating and the number of patients is increasing, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) could not be set up so far at the hospital in Tangail.  

The works to set up a central oxygen plant at the hospital also remain incomplete.

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The 250-bed Tangail General Hospital is the main centre of the treatment for around 40 lakh people of the district. However, the hospital has not yet been equipped with necessary treatment facilities to manage Covid-19 patients despite a year has been passed since the onset of the pandemic.

As a result, conscious citizens have expressed their grave concern over the increasing number of the Covid-19 patients in the district and the lack of necessary treatment facilities at the local hospitals.

Meanwhile, after the outbreak of coronavirus, the prime minister on April 18, 2020 in parliament said her government would take step to set up ICUs at every district hospital.

Asked about the matter, Dr Khandakar Sadiqur Rahman, deputy director (DD) of the Tangail General Hospital, said works to set up the ICU at the first floor of the main building of the hospital are going on. He also said the ICU at the hospital will be functional soon.

He, however, could not say exactly how many days will require before the unit commences operation.

Responding to another query, the DD said the works of setting up the central oxygen plant at the hospital are at the final stage.

 According to the Civil Surgeon’s Office in Tangail, the first corona patient was detected in the district on April 8 last year. Now the number of the patients stands at 4453 (till April16). Of them, 70 patients have died so far.

Setting up an ICU at Tangail General Hospital is a long demand of people in the district. However, it is a regrettable matter that the ICU facilities could not be started at the hospital one year into the PM’s pledge, said Nizam Uddin, a rights worker in Tangail.

“It is very true that the preparations of the local health department as well as the local hospitals are as poor that they won’t be able to tackle the situation if the Covid-19 situation deteriorates further,” he added.         

Contacted, Civil Surgeon in Tangail Dr Abul Fazal Mohammad Shahabuddin, also member secretary of District Covid-19 Prevention Committee, said that they have plan to upgrade the corona isolation unit at the General Hospital to 70 beds from 50 beds.

On the other hand, arrangements are going on to set up a 20-bed corona isolation unit at Kumudini Hospital in Mizapur, he said.

“However, we will have to put more emphasis to curb the further spread of the coronavirus. Otherwise, it will not possible to tackle the situation by the limited resources,” he added.