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Various inconsistencies in government information about Corona in Bangladesh

Although some hospitals designated for corona treatment do not have ICU beds, the data provided by the Department show that.

government information about Corona in Bangladesh

Bhola, Kushtia, Bagerhat, Patuakhali, Jamalpur: As per the Department of Health, these five district hospitals have 20 Intensive Care Units (ICUs) for Corona patients. There were no ICU beds in these hospitals till Sunday.

In Sylhet district, there were 436 patients in four government hospitals for corona patients. But according to the Department of Health, the number of corona patients being treated in the district yesterday was shown to be 136.

Not only these two but there are also various such discrepancies and discrepancies in the daily tax notices of the Department of Health. In some districts, the information of the admitted patients is being shown less. 

In contrast, high flow nasal cannula devices for supplying hospital beds and increased oxygen levels are being offered in some communities. Apart from this, even if there is no ICU facility, it is being added.

The Department of Health is primarily providing information on hospitals designated for corona patients at the district level. As the number of corona patients has increased in almost all the districts, now many patients are being admitted to the Upazila hospitals. 

The patients undergoing treatment in only three or four Upazila health complexes outside the Upazilas in the hilly areas were added to the health department.

The daily circular of the Department of Health contains information on general and ICU beds, admission patients, high flow nasal cannula and central oxygen supply system in 96 government hospitals of the country. The first light of the data collected by the representatives of the hospital.

According to the Department, there were 13,798 beds in these hospitals yesterday. The hospital has 13,465 beds. As per the Department, 64 out of 650 ICU beds were vacant yesterday. There were 22 vacancies out of 618 ICU beds.

The culture of providing accurate information has not developed in the administration. A tendency to not show authentic images works in many. Hiding information is bad for the people and bad for the government.

Mushtaq Hossain, Advisor, IEDCR

Public health experts say we need accurate information to assess the epidemic situation, project it, formulate policies, plan and implement it. An uncertain environment cannot be conducive to epidemic control. 

As a result, people may hesitate to respond to good government initiatives. To involve people in lockdown or any endeavour, give correct information.

Professor Nasima Sultana, Additional Director General (Administration) of the Health Department, told last Thursday that the information provided by the Health Department did not match with the information provided by the Health Department. 

Based on that information, the Department of Health issued a notification. And the information that is sent to the media from the Department every day is the information 24 hours in advance.

There is no ICU in that hospital.

According to a press release issued by the Department of Health yesterday, there are six ICUs for corona patients in the Bhola district. But Bhola 250-bed General Hospital authorities say there are ICU beds, but none have been opened yet.

Sirajuddin, the 250-bed General Hospital caretaker in Bhola, said that there are six ICUs and there is no workforce to run them. Although the hospital has 250 beds, the crew is less than 50 beds.

The Ministry of Health provided five ICU beds to Patuakhali Medical College Hospital three months ago to treat corona patients. An ICU unit of the hospital was also prepared. 

But they could not launch the ICU service because of a lack of trained workforce and necessary equipment. Severe patients have to be rushed to Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barisal, 40 km away.

They have launched a corona unit at the National Orthopedic Hospital and Rehabilitation Center (NITOR) in the capital. As per the Department, this unit has 3 ICUs. 

However, the hospital director, Professor Abdul Gani Mollah, said, “According to the Department, they have launched a corona unit. There is no ICU in this hospital.

Even if there is a patient, there is no name on the list.

The MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital in Sylhet has 325 beds for corona patients. Two hundred ninety-eight people were treated in this hospital yesterday. 

Corona patients are also receiving treatment at Shaheed Shamsuddin Ahmed Hospital, 31-bed Khadimpara Hospital and South Surma, 31-bed Upazila Health Complex. But the name of MAG Osmani Medical College is not in the Department’s notification of Health.

In Gazipur, corona patients are treated at Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Medical College Hospital and Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Memorial KPJ Hospital. Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Hospital has 100 beds, but they introduced 42 beds yesterday due to lack of oxygen. 

The hospital had six more patients out of 42 beds yesterday. However, Fazilatunnesa Hospital is not on the list of hospitals of the Department.

There are 355 beds for corona patients in Brahmanbaria. Among them, the private Brahmanbaria Medical College Hospital (Pvt.) 

Has 100 beds for corona patients, according to the Department. But the hospital’s chairman Abu Saeed said that his hospital has 30 beds for corona patients.

There is no information on admitted patients at the Upazila level.

According to various district health departments, they now admitted many patients at the Upazila level besides the district headquarters or medical college hospitals designated for corona patients. 

But the Department is only adding information to the district or medical college in the notification.

Besides the Corona Hospital designated by the Chuadanga district headquarters, they have recently introduced six beds in three Upazila health complexes. 

They admitted eleven patients with Corona in the 30-bed corona ward at Damurhuda Upazila Health Complex and ten patients with Corona in the 26-bed corona ward at Jivannagar Upazila Health Complex.

Kushtia General Hospital has 200 corona beds. There were 243 people admitted yesterday. They admitted eighteen students to Daulatpur Upazila Health Complex, 19 in Bheramara Upazila Health Complex, 20 in Mirpur Upazila Health Complex, 15 in Kumarkhali Upazila Health Complex and 3 in Khoksa Upazila Health Complex yesterday. 

They admitted 316 patients to the hospital in Kushtia yesterday. However, the notification of the Department has information about the admission of 16 patients.

Even if there is a bed, it is not like keeping a patient.

The DNCC Covid Dedicated Hospital in Mohakhali has 500 beds, including ICU beds and a High Dependency Unit (HDU). Of these, they admitted patients to 492 beds yesterday. 

The opposite is true of the hospital’s ordinary beds. Out of 554 available beds in the hospital, about 500 beds are vacant every day. Yesterday, they showed 482 beds empty.

The hospital director, Brigadier General AKM Nasir Uddin, said that there was no central oxygen supply in the empty beds of the hospital. It has become difficult to treat patients who need oxygen all the time.

Although there are no facilities like patient admission and workforce, the Department’s information shows that some hospitals are ready for treatment. 

Examples are the 54-bed Chittagong Railway Hospital, the 50-bed Infectious Diseases Hospital in Mohakhali and the 20-bed Mangalkandi Hospital in Sonagazi, Feni. 

According to the Department of Health, most of the beds in these hospitals are empty. But those three hospitals do not have the facilities to treat complex corona patients.

Hospitalization of symptomatic patients

Many patients with symptoms are being treated at hospitals designated for corona patients. In many hospitals, the number of patients with symptoms is higher than the number of patients identified. In Manikganj, the hospital set for Corona has 100 beds. Yesterday there were 251 patients admitted. 

Of these, 95 are Corona positive, and the remaining 158 are symptomatic patients.

There is no hospital for corona treatment in the Naogaon district. However, there are 201 beds in isolation, wards of 10 Upazila health complexes, including Naogaon General Hospital with 250 beds. There were 45 corona positive patients and 116 patients with symptoms in these beds yesterday.

Mushtaq Hossain, an adviser to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (ICR) of the Department of Health, said that the culture of providing accurate information has not developed in the administration. 

A tendency to not show authentic images works in many. There is no reason to show new ICU beds as active on the official list. If there is any deficiency, it should be reported. This makes it easier to address deficits or take action. Hiding information is bad for the people and bad for the government.

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