The government has decided to set up an intensive care unit (ICU) at only one hospital among three dedicated to treat Covid-19 patients in Chattogram.
To this end, the health ministry has sent a letter to the authorities of Chattogram General Hospital (CGH).
CGH Superintendent Dr Asim Kumar Nath, who received the letter Sunday, said, "The letter said the government has decided to give us five ventilators to set up an ICU."
A team of experts from Dhaka will visit the hospital soon, he said.
The letter, however, did not mention anything about when the hospital will get the logistic facilities -- including central oxygen supply, necessary equipment, and trained doctors and employees to run the ICU, said CGH sources.
The superintendent said, "It is not possible to run an ICU with only five ventilators."
Earlier, the government has selected three hospitals to treat people infected with coronavirus in Chattogram. Of those, a 100-bed isolation ward has been set up at CGH.
Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID) and Chattogram Railway Hospital are two other selected hospitals.
Meanwhile, health experts have emphasised installation of ICU with adequate ventilators at all the hospitals dedicated for Covid-19 patients.
Mamunur Rashid, associate professor of clinical tropical medicine at BITID, such facilities are urgent as most patients die from respiratory failure.
Contacted, Prof Dr Masood Ahmed, former head of ICU at Chattogram Medical College Hospital, said a hospital with ICU support is ideal to treat Covid-19 patients.
Asked whether five ventilators are enough, Dr Hasan Shahriar Kabir, director (Chattogram division) of Directorate General of Health Services, said only one percent of Covid-19 patients need ICU support.
"The number of infected persons in the country is below 50 till now," he said, adding that the government will increase the facilities as per need. "With five ventilators, a 10-bed ICU can be set up," he said.
All logistic facilities will be provided in time, he added.