Shortage of Hospital Beds: Govt mulls hotels for patients with mild symptoms
The government is considering treating Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms by keeping them in hotels in the face of scarcity of hospital beds as the second wave of coronavirus cases sweep across the country, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque said yesterday.
"There is no space left [for Covid-19 patients] in the hospitals," he told reporters following an inter-ministerial meeting at the secretariat.
As much as 90 percent of the general beds and 99 percent of the intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied, according to Maleque.
As of yesterday noon, about 6,000 Covid-19 patients were being treated in different hospitals across the country, according to the health directorate. Of them, 1,163 were in ICUs.
"So now, we are searching for hotels for Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms," he said, adding that there will be doctors, nurses, medicines and arrangements of oxygen support at the hotels.
At the same time, the convention centre at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University is also being converted into a field hospital.
Quizzed about the reopening of garment factories, he said that the other industries, public transport and businesses will also be reopened gradually and there will be detailed directives on the matter soon.
Maleque's comment came on the day that the health directorate logged in 15,776 new cases and 235 deaths in the preceding 24 hours to 8 am.
The overall positivity rate was lower despite a higher number of tests: 28.5 percent as opposed to 29.9 percent in the 24 hours earlier.
With the latest count, the total number of confirmed cases rose to 12,96,093 and the total casualties to 21,397.
Of the deceased yesterday, 140 were males and 95 were females.
The highest number of deaths were recorded in the Dhaka division (73), followed by Chattogram (65). Among the other divisions, 32 were in Khulna, 21 in Rajshahi, 12 each in Sylhet, Rangpur and Mymensingh, and eight in Barishal.
Of the total cases, 11,25,045 have recovered from their illnesses, including yesterday's 16,297.