This is the second time the health authorities have tried to turn the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) market into an emergency healthcare facility
The DNCC specialized hospital and isolation centre is finally set to be inaugurated on Sunday.
According to DNCC Covid-19 hospital sources, the hospital will have a total of 1,000 beds. The authorities are installing 212 ICU beds and 51 beds with High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC).
The public relations officer of the Health Ministry, Maidul Islam Prodhan, said that the health minister himself would inaugurate the hospital around 11:30am on Sunday.
The Health Ministry took the decision to open the hospital on March 22.
On Saturday, Director General of DGHS Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam visited the hospital to inspect its progress.
Then he visited Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital (ShSMCH), where he said, as there was a crisis of ICUs and Covid-19 beds in the city the largest Covid-19 dedicated hospital at DNCC market would be inaugurated on Sunday.
The authorities said the hospital would be started partially with 50 ICU beds, 50 beds in the emergency units having HNFC facilities and 150 bed isolation centres for mild patients.
The newly appointed director of the hospital, Brig Gen AKM Nasir Uddin, told Dhaka Tribune: “We are trying to provide lifesaving services to the needy to the fullest as soon as possible and we want to complete the relevant activities within due time.”
“We are hoping to bring 500 beds under operation within a week [including the initial 250 beds] and by the end of April we are hoping to start the hospital fully,” he added.
In the market the space for a shop can fit only one bed as it would become over crowded if they fit more. However, the director said if the situation demanded more beds would be installed at the hospital.
According to the director, the hospital authorities had already installed all the ICU beds and were awaiting other necessary machinery to start the ICU unit fully.
Sources at the hospital said till now some 150 doctors, around 200 nurses and around 280 staff had joined the hospital.
According to the DGHS it would require 500 doctors with different specifications, 700 nurses and 700 assistants or staff to operate the hospital.
They would be appointed from government hospitals where a fewer number of healthcare professionals were needed.
Why the delay?
This is the second time the health authorities have tried to turn the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) market into an emergency healthcare facility.
The earlier attempt was made in April last year during the outbreak of the deadliest pandemic in Bangladesh’s history.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) claimed that it had halted the opening of the specialized hospital and isolation centre as the number of patients at other hospitals in the city started to decrease.
However, insiders said as several corruption allegations rose over the equipment provided at this hospital the activities came to a halt.
The equipment was provided from a fund of the Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness (ERPP) project financed by the World Bank.
The remodeling of the existing DNCC market was implemented by the Health Engineering Department. Many DGHS officials also blamed the department for its sloppiness in building the hospital, which is also one of the reasons behind the setback.
The Health Ministry again took the decision to open the hospital on March 22. This time the then 1,300 bed specialized hospital and isolation centre is being remodeled under the surveillance of the Bangladesh Army.