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According to a government report till March 2020, as many as 10,500 beds and 549 ICU beds in 97 coronavirus dedicated public and private hospitals across the country are being used for treating coronavirus patients. Moreover, at least five beds at each district and upazila are ready for Covid patients.

Services are being delivered through some 13,415 oxygen cylinders, 955 high flow nasal cannulas, 799 oxygen concentrators and 573 ventilators.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, it was noticed that there was no coordination among the different ministries. The meeting held on 25 March put an emphasis on strengthening coordination among all ministries.

Besides, all types of committees from the national level to the union level have to be made functional as well accountable. The frontline health workers have to be trained up and they will be facilitated with all necessary supports including safety gears.

The meeting also stressed to expand coronavirus testing capacity.

The health ministry is planning to bring the 1,500-bed Mohakhali Covid-19 isolation center to the central management system and dedicating 500 beds of the Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital for Covid-19 treatment.

Uncertainty over availability of vaccines

So far, the government received 1.02 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines, 7 million doses under a tripartite agreement and 3.2 million as gifts.

Health ministry sources said there will be a crisis of vaccines.

The mass-level vaccination could be continued till as long as the stock is available.

Officials said the government’s move to import vaccines from Russia and China is yet to get positive response.

About the overall situation, Bangladesh Medical Association’s secretary general Ehteshamul Huq Choudhury told Prothom Alo, “The positive thing is that most of the Covid-19 hospitals are much more prepared than the previous time. The arrangement of ICU beds, supply of oxygen and testing facilities seem to be satisfactory. The frontline medical staff members are more confident.”

He, however, added that health ministry failed to implement its decision strictly. There was a lack of coordination in the ministry, Ehteshamul Huq Choudhury added.

*This report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman

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