Two isolation and treatment centers for Covid-19 patients were inaugurated in Cox's Bazar – one at Kutupalong Rohingya camp and the other at Ukhiya upazila.
Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Kamal Hossain and Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Mahbub Alam Takluder, as well as partners from Relief International, Food for the Hungry, Brac and WHO inaugurated the first two such centres, said a UNHCR statement yesterday.
The Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment Centres (SARI ITCs) for refugees and Bangladeshi host communities will serve the needs of almost 200 Covid-19 positive patients suffering from moderate to severe symptoms.
"It is a historical moment for us. We have inaugurated this first centre virtually. Right from the beginning of our humanitarian activities, UNHCR has been a pioneer," said Mahbub Alam Talukder during the virtual inaugural.
"From the government's side, we are very grateful to UNHCR. In this urgent situation, UNHCR has made this facility which will help many coronavirus positive patients, both inside and outside of the camps," said DC Kamal Hossain.
While there are cases at both camps and among host communities, people now have a place to come for isolation and proper treatment, said Hinako Toki, senior operations manager of UNHCR in Cox's Bazar.
"This will keep the community safe. This has been a truly collective effort and achievement," Toki said.
This is part of a broader humanitarian effort by all partners in Cox's Bazar to provide support to Bangladesh government in combating Covid-19, and to build capacity to respond to clinical needs of those with the most severe symptoms.
A total of 12 SARI ITCs will be constructed overall, with a capacity of approximately 1,900 beds for refugees and host community. Additional resources and support including personal protective equipment (PPE) have already been provided to existing national health care facilities in Cox's Bazar and to primary health centres within the Rohingya refugee camps.
UNHCR will also soon complete the preparation of an 18-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sadar Hospital in Cox's Bazar, with 10 ICU beds and 8 high dependency beds, as well as providing staffing, for those with the most severe needs.