Two isolation and treatment centres for Covid-19 patients were inaugurated today in Cox's Bazar -- one at Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp and the other at Ukhiya upazila.
Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Kamal Hossain and the 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 centres, said a UNHCR statement today.
The Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment Centres (SARI ITCs) for refugees and Bangladeshi communities will serve the needs of almost 200 Covid-19 positive patients suffering from moderate to severe symptoms.
"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 Covid-19 situation, UNHCR has made this facility which will help many positive patients, both inside and outside of the camps" said Kamal Hossain, district commissioner (DC) of Cox's Bazar.
While there are confirmed cases of the coronavirus in both the camps and the host community, people now have a place to come for isolation and proper treatment, where they can recover and return to their communities, 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 the Bangladesh government in combating Covid-19, and to ensure capacity to respond to the 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 the host community. Additional resources and support including personal protective equipment (PPE) has already been provided to existing national healthcare facilities in Cox's Bazar and to primary health centres within the Rohingya refugee camps.
UNHCR will also complete the preparation of an 18 bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Sadar Hospital in Cox's Bazar soon, with 10 ICU beds and 8 high dependency beds, as well as providing staffing, for those with the most severe needs.