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Cox’s Bazar gets ICU, HDU to fight Covid-19

Published : 20 Jun 2020 09:59 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 12:32 PM

UNHCR and the Government of Bangladesh observed the World Refugee Day-2020, with the inauguration of the first Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital on Saturday. 

This 18-bed ICU will serve the refugees and local community members with the most severe coronavirus symptoms. With 10 ICU beds with life-saving ventilators, and 8 high-dependency beds (HDU), this unit is the first of its kind to be set in Cox’s Bazar. 

“This ICU will fulfil the dreams of the people of Cox’s Bazar and provide high quality assistance and health care, so people will not need to travel elsewhere. We thank UNHCR for this support,” said Shaimum Sarwar Kamal, MP as the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony.

“We began this work at the beginning of April, led by the RRRC and with the support of the DC and UNHCR. We are delighted to see it being completed”, said Dr. Mohammad Mohiuddin, Superintendent of Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital.

The entire humanitarian community is working hand in hand with the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the maximum response capacity for affected local Bangladeshi communities as well as Rohingya refugees, with the rise in the numbers of confirmed corona cases in the district.

“The people of Cox’s Bazar have been waiting for this, it adds a new response capacity for the health response. I am sincerely grateful to everyone involved in the construction and installation of this facility,” said Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Kamal Hossain.

Already, UNHCR has constructed and opened two Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment facilities (SARI ITCs) in Cox’s Bazar, which are providing care to refugees and Bangladeshis alike.

A total of 29 patients have been discharged so far after recovering from the virus. UNHCR and humanitarian partners have also provided training, support, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers. 

This year, the number of forcibly displaced persons globally is higher than ever at 79.5 million people – that is approximately 1 per cent of the entire global population. Durable and long-term solutions remain challenging, as pervasive conflicts continue, making it impossible for refugees to return home in safety and in dignity.

The Covid-19 pandemic has compounded the emergency situation in Cox’s Bazar. UNHCR continues to call on the international community for increased support and solidarity with Bangladesh to respond to this double crisis, as nobody is safe until everyone is safe, including the most vulnerable in society.  

“On World Refugee Day, we are proud to celebrate the resilience of refugees globally and, in particular, the Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh. 

Today, with the inauguration of this Intensive Care Unit in Cox’s Bazar we can clearly see that everyone can make a difference, and that every action counts”, said Hinako Toki, Senior Operations Coordinator for UNHCR in Cox’s Bazar.