• Friday, Jan 21, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:02 am

ED: To avert another hospital bed crisis, bring the infection rate under control

  • Published at 08:13 am July 13th, 2021
hospital beds
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Let us, then, keep our priorities straight without getting diverted with other matters

In spite of a large number of new hospital beds being purchased in recent months, here we are again, standing on the verge of yet another hospital bed crisis. This impending crisis can be attributed to the sky-high infection rate, which is turning out to be worse than what many had predicted.

It is deeply concerning to hear DGHS spokesperson Dr Robed Amin say that right now, there are 15,000 beds at dedicated Covid-19 hospitals across the country, with 5,000 of them currently unoccupied. Given the upward trend in infection, it will be entirely unsurprising if Bangladesh starts recording more than 16,000 infections per day. If that happens, it can be anticipated that soon we will run out of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients.

Clearly, our medical infrastructure is stretched above and beyond capacity. The number of available ICU beds have halved in a matter of days, and soon there may be none left. With 230 people dying in a single day, and the daily death record looking likely to be broken again and again in subsequent days, there is no doubt that we are in the heart of the crisis.

This challenge at this point needs to be confronted on a number of different fronts. First of all, the vaccination program needs to move ahead full speed, because ultimately, a fully vaccinated population is the way out of this pandemic. Secondly, Covid-19 protocols must be strictly enforced. Amidst the current lockdown, we have seen many people behave in a cavalier fashion, refusing to wear masks or to maintain distance: This spells disaster and must be stopped.

Thirdly, we need to put focus on the medical sector. Hospital facilities, ICU beds, oxygen supplies -- these are the things needed right now more than anything else. Let us, then, keep our priorities straight without getting diverted with other matters that can wait until we are out of the woods.

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