Coronavirus patients being treated at home face all sorts of problems, many sufferers have said.

They said they do not know how to undergo regular tests, how to understand if they are recovering, whether when need to go to hospital, how to go if needed, and so on.

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Meanwhile, the number of patients at home is increasing.

The situation is worsening as the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) is unable to reach all patients.

Specialist physicians have said more attention must be paid to the matter.

There are all sorts of discussions and plans about preparing hospitals, patient management, physicians, nurses and so on.

However, no one is disseminating information about the majority of coronavirus patients who have been receiving treatment at home.

Calling Prothom Alo over the phone, a resident of Jigatola in the capital city wanted to know how he will treat to his 24-year-old son at home.

Medicine specialist and former president of Association of Physicians of Bangladesh professor Azizul Kahhar said those with mild coronavirus symptoms can be treated through telemedicine at home.

How many patients at home

As many as 17,822 coronavirus patients have been so far detected in the country. Some 3,361 patients have recovered and 269 have died.

Over 3,000 patients have been undergoing treatment at the hospitals while over 10,000 patients have been receiving treatment at home.

Why is delivering services at home challenging?

Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) director Meerjady Sabrina said, “It is a big challenge to ensure treatment of coronavirus patients at home. We are trying to expand telemedicine services.”

Specialists said there must some specific mechanism for patients to contact even late in the night. There must be arrangements for ambulances and treatment facilities at selected hospitals at night, they added.

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Who delivers services?

From the beginning, IEDCR has been providing treatment to coronavirus patients at home. As the number of patients has increased, it is unable to provide services to all.

It has now added Health Batayan 16263 as a hotline, but follow-up treatment is not being provided by Health Batayan. Officials at DGHS said they are trying to expand telemedicine services for those who have been undergoing treatment at home.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.