40pc coronavirus dedicated beds still vacant: Health minister

The construction of 2,000-bed field hospital dedicated to treat the novel coronavirus infected patients at the International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka is completed
The construction of 2,000-bed field hospital dedicated to treat the novel coronavirus infected patients at the International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka is completedDipu Malakar
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Mentioning that some 14,000 beds have been designated for COVID-19 patients in the country’s hospitals, health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said 40 per cent of those are still vacant, reports UNB.

“It’s not like that patients are not getting treatment in any hospital of Bangladesh. As of today, we’ve 60 per cent beds occupied while 40 per cent are still vacant. We’ve some 14,000 beds for coronavirus patients,” he said.

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The minister was responding to allegations brought by opposition MPs while discussing their cut-motions regarding Tk 228.8386 biillion demand in grant for the health services division.

The health minister said high-flow oxygen lines are essential for COVID-19 patients. So, the government has taken an initiative for arranging 1,000 high-flow oxygen or central oxygen lines and 10,000 new oxygen cylinders.

About the allegations of irregularities in hotels and food costs of physicians and health workers of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, the minister said the allegations were not correct as some 3,700 people stayed there in 50 hotels for a month, and Tk 500 was given as food cost for three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. "The rent for each room was Tk 1,100 per day."

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Noting that the costs were not so high, he said adding , “The food cost that was said to be (in allegation) is incorrect."

Zahid Maleque said now there is no allegation about the standard of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The government has already sent three million PPEs to different hospitals, he said.

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