Covid patients in Sylhet are scrambling from one hospital to another in search of ICU beds
Even if you have the money, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get admitted to a hospital for Covid-19 treatment right away, as hospitals are overwhelmed and extremely unequipped, says Rafiqul Islam, a resident of Dakkhin Surma upazila of Sylhet.
“My father tested positive five days back and is struggling to breathe. He needs an ICU bed but all beds are occupied everywhere.
“We had been to Osmani Medical College Hospital and then to two private hospitals but there was no ICU bed to get him admitted," Rafiqul, a working man in his late 40s, told UNB in front of North East Medical College Hospital.
“Even the wait at every hospital and every desk was frustrating. We were frequently advised to have patience as they were having a very difficult time. Our medical system has collapsed!” added Rafique.
There is nothing unique in Rafiqul Islam’s case. It is now a common scenario in Sylhet as the number of cases has skyrocketed here in recent weeks as elsewhere in the country.
Relatives of Covid-infected patients are running from one hospital to another to have an ICU bed for them.
Every day the relatives are having the names of patients listed with the hospitals here in an effort to get an ICU bed once it becomes available
According to health authorities, there are 800 Covid beds in different private and government hospitals in the district with 127 ICU beds in total.
Of these, 16 are at Shaheed Shamsuddin Hospital, eight at Osmani Medical College and Hospital, six at Moulvibazar Hospital, and 97 at different private hospitals in the district. But all the beds are occupied due to the rise in the number of Covid patients.
Dr Hossain, in charge of Shaheed Shamsuddin Hospital, said: “No ICU bed is available at the hospital. The relatives of patients are now enlisting their names in the hope to get an ICU bed."
“Now several patients from one family are admitted to one cabin,” he added.
Meanwhile, people are also crowding Mount Adora Hospital, North East Medical College Hospital, and others to register their names for ICU beds.
A physician of a private hospital in Sylhet, said: “Three people are fighting for an ICU bed. We haven’t seen this before.”
Akhlak Ahmed, a physician at Mount Adora Hospital, said: “The situation is getting worse here as the relatives have to take back their patients due to the ICU bed crisis.”
Dr Nasim, president of Sylhet Private Hospital Owners’ Association, said: “The situation at government and private hospitals in the district is almost the same. Currently, no ICU beds are available.”
“The situation was much better during the first wave. Now it’s worse as we’re receiving much weaker and serious patients. It’s a very difficult situation indeed!” Dr Nasim added.
He emphasized immediate coordinated action for dealing with such a situation.
On Friday, Sylhet division logged as many as 802 fresh Covid cases in 24 hours, the division's highest single-day figure this year.
Of the fresh Covid cases in the division, 464 are from Sylhet district alone.
So far, 21,525 people have been infected with Covid-19 in this district.
Besides, 39,116 people have been found infected with the virus in the division up to now.
Seventeen more Covid-related deaths have been recorded in the Sylhet division during the 24-hour period, officials said.
Of the total deaths, 14 died in Sylhet and three in Moulvibazar districts, raising the death toll from the virus in the division to 684.
On Wednesday, the Sylhet division reported the highest single-day records in both the number of deaths of 17 and new cases of 736.
Dr Himangshu Lal Roy, director (health-Sylhet division), said 413 people have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 30,320.
At present, 402 people are undergoing treatment for Covid symptoms in Corona hospitals of the division, he said.