While there is no scanner in any of the hospitals in entire Khulna division to detect coronavirus cases, the setting up of a five-bed isolation ward at one of them has failed to serve the original purpose.
Although scanners have already been installed at land ports to detect coronavirus, there is no one in any hospital in Khulna and naturally one would ask what sort of treatment will be provided at the isolation ward if the disease itself cannot be detected.
Considering the coronavirus situation in India, scanners should be available at the hospitals in Khulna division, think experts.
If it can make its way into Bangladesh, it will not be easy to contain the infection of coronavirus due to the population density and the possibility of a humanitarian disaster is there, they said.
The UNB correspondent did not find any scanner after visiting Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH), General Hospital and upazila health complexes. However, the five-bed isolation ward was opened at KMCH to treat patients with coronavirus symptoms.
On January 28, an electric billboard was set up at Mongla port that informs people about symptoms of coronavirus and ways to prevent the disease. A seminar was organised at Khulna Medical College’s auditorium by doctors of the medicine department recently.
Specialised doctors told UNB that no patient is suspected of coronavirus since the symptoms of all viral infections are almost the same.
If they see anyone who has returned from abroad or regularly visits China contacting fever and cough, they send samples of such patients to Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) in Dhaka for tests, they said.
“A five-bed isolation ward has been prepared from January 28 at this hospital. However, there’s no facility for testing coronavirus infection. We have to refer patients to Dhaka if we suspect him or her,” Dr ATM Morshed, director of KMCH, said.
Prof Dr SM Kamal, head of the Medicine department at the hospital, told UNB that five isolation beds have been prepared by the Gastroenterology department of the hospital of which he is in charge.
Mentioning that there was a dengue ward at that location earlier, Dr Kamal said an assistant registrar and a nurse are responsible for the isolation ward while some personnel have been delegated for that purpose.
“However, there’s no scanner or pathological facility to detect coronavirus outside Dhaka,” he added.
Dr Sujat Ahmed, civil surgeon of Khulna, said it has been made mandatory for doctors and nurses to wear masks while on duty.
He also said a similar instruction has been given to hospitals at the upazila level as well.
“There’re is no facility in Khulna to detect the novel coronavirus infection. If we suspect a patient as per symptoms, that person is sent to IEDCR in Mohakhali or Kumitola Hospital,” he stated.