The government will set up isolation and critical care units in district hospitals all over the country as part of its efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
A 20-bed Isolation Unit (IU) and a five-bed Critical Care Unit (CCU) will be set up in every district hospital for treating Covid-19 patients.
Besides, 17 of the 29 public medical colleges in the country will have a 50-bed IU and a 10-bed CCU or Intensive Care Unit each for coronavirus patients.
A 250-bed hospital will be set up in the capital's Mohakhali area for treating the Covid-19 frontliners infected with the virus. They include health workers, government employees and members of police and ansar.
A mobile application will also be developed for keeping track of Covid-19 patients and managing data on health services.
All this will be done under two projects involving Tk 2,492 crore, which were approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The PM joined the meeting through video conference from the Gono Bhaban.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will provide $100 million each for the two projects to be implemented between April 2020 and June 2023.
The PM directed the ministries and officials concerned to closely monitor the Covid-19-related projects for quick implementation, he mentioned.
She also asked officials to ensure uninterrupted supply of high-pressure oxygen to district hospitals for Covid-19 patients, Mannan said.
About the two projects, he said the first one -- the Covid-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness Project -- will involve Tk 1,128 crore, of which Tk 850 crore will come from the WB and the rest from the government.
The project will be implemented nationwide to help upgrade selected health facilities and laboratories to detect, manage and treat Covid-19 cases.
Besides, designated laboratories will be provided with skilled staffers as well as diagnostic equipment and test kits.
The other project -- Covid-19 Response Emergency Assistance -- involving Tk 1,365 crore is aimed at enhancing the government's capability to fight the pandemic. It will help meet the government's immediate needs to curb further spread of the virus.
The ADB will provide Tk 850 crore and the rest will come from the government.
Under the project, infection prevention and control units will be set up at 492 upazila health complexes across the country.
Besides, crucial medical equipment and supplies will be purchased with the funds, said an official of the planning ministry seeking anonymity.
Under the project, 19 microbiology testing labs will be set up at 10 medical colleges, five hospitals and four specialised health institutions.