The government with support of the UNHCR has set up an 18-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Cox’s Bazar sadar hospital to cater the needs of forcibly displaced Rohingyas as well as local community with severe coronavirus symptoms.
The ICU unit, first of its kind in Cox’s Bazar, consisting 10 beds with life-saving ventilators and 8 high-dependency beds, was inaugurated on 20 June marking the World Refugee Day 2020, an UNHCR press release said.
“This ICU will fulfil the dreams of the people of Cox’s Bazar and provide the highest quality assistance and health care, so people will not need to travel elsewhere,” said local member of parliament Shaimum Sarwar Kamal while inaugurating the unit this morning. Cox’s Bazar sadar hospital superintendent Mohammad Mohiuddin said they began set-up work of the unit in April, led by the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner with support of the district deputy commissioner and UNHCR. Cox’s Bazar district deputy commissioner Kamal Hossain and senior operations coordinator for UNHCR in Cox’s Bazar Hinako Toki also spoke on the occasion.
The entire humanitarian community is working hand in hand with Bangladesh government to ensure maximum response capacity for affected local Bangladeshi communities as well as Rohingyas, with the numbers of confirmed cases in the district continues to rise, said the release.
The UNHCR has so far set up two Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment facilities (SARIITCs) in Cox’s Bazar, which are providing care to Rohingyas and Bangladeshis alike.
UNHCR and humanitarian partners have also provided training, support, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers.
A total of 29 patients have been discharged so far after having recovered from the virus.
Pointing that the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded emergency situation in Cox’s Bazar, the release said, the UNHCR continues to call on international community for increased support and solidarity with Bangladesh to respond to this double crisis, as nobody is safe until everyone is safe, including the most vulnerable in society.
Bangladesh hosts over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and most of them arrived there since 25 August 2017 after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and other rights groups dubbed as “genocide”.
Even after almost three years, not a single Rohingya went back home yet although Myanmar agreed to take them back.