Dire need of ICU beds

Set up specialised hospitals with adequate ICU beds

It is alarming to note that amid the worsening Covid-19 situation thousands of critically ill patients, mostly requiring respiratory support in intensive care units (ICU), are unable to find the emergency treatment.

Bangladesh has been experiencing a widespread transmission of Covid-19 from early March. The fresh surge of Covid-19 in Bangladesh has turned more than half the country's 64 districts into high-risk zones. Hospitals across the country are already overburdened with patients. With the number of infections and deaths from Covid-19 getting higher, inadequacy of ICU beds both at public and private hospitals has become a serious concern.

Inadequate intensive care facilities 

across the country remain a major 

concern in treating COVID-19 patients

As reported by this daily on Tuesday, there is no ICU facilities in 36 out of 64 districts.  Reportedly, fifteen of the 31 districts at high risk for corona infection do not have ICU. Public health experts are blaming the negligence of the Directorate General of Health Services for not setting up ICU units at the district level even after so many days.

More than a year into the pandemic, but still we do not have enough ventilators and ICU beds to treat Covid patients!  However, it is good to note that recently the government has embarked on a plan to double the number of Intensive Care Unit beds in Dhaka to accommodate the increasing number of Covid-19 patients.

Inadequate intensive care facilities across the country remain a major concern in treating COVID-19 patients with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.  If they get infected, most will need intensive care and ventilation.

It needs no emphasising that there is a huge gap between demand and supply in terms of intensive care facilities.  ICUs in private hospitals are not up to the mark for the lack of necessary equipment and skilled manpower. Considering the situation, the government should integrate immediate measures to increase intensive care facilities across the country and set up specialised hospitals with adequate ICU beds to treat coronavirus patients.