August 6, 2021

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Emergency in health sector: BSMMU

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities have said that there is a state of emergency in the health sector. The university thinks that in order to control the corona infection, all kinds of social events, gatherings and tourism should be stopped now, including marriage. On the other hand, public health experts say that the 16-point guidelines are inadequate, vague and cannot play an effective role in controlling infections.

BSMMU held a press conference on Thursday in the wake of rising infections in the country. University Vice-Chancellor at a press conference. Sharfuddin Ahmed said that now there is an emergency in health. Tourism in the three districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts alone should not be stopped. Tourism in the whole country including Cox’s Bazar has to be stopped. That every day in front of the National Press Club is a rally, procession or human chain; That needs to stop.

The press conference titled ‘Corona Situation: Present Perspectives and Future Things to Do’ was attended by several senior officials including several vice-chancellors and heads of departments of the university.

Vice Chancellor after the press conference. Sharfuddin Ahmed told Prothom Alo that the infection is spreading fast. It is not possible to predict where the situation will end. In the same way that people are forced to do something in an emergency, in the current situation of infection, people must be forced to wear masks and maintain social distance.

The rationale of the government’s 16-point directive was discussed at the press conference. The vice-chancellor said the government would request the health minister to consult with scientists and researchers at the university before taking any initiative on public health.

Last Wednesday, the government banned the transport of passengers on motorcycles. On the same night, in a meeting with the owners of private clinics and hospitals, Health Minister Zahid Malek requested to increase the number of beds for Kovid patients in each private hospital. On the occasion, the health minister said that if 500 to 1000 patients are admitted to the hospital every day, even if the whole city of Dhaka is turned into a hospital, there will be no place to keep patients. All that needs to be done at the moment is to take urgent action in the areas where the corona is being created. 18 instructions must be strictly followed.

However, public health experts believe that these 16-point guidelines are not practical to handle the current situation. They say such instructions should have come one to one and a half months ago.

Bay-Nazir Ahmed, former director of the disease control branch of the health department, told Prothom Alo that records are being set every day to identify new patients. A portion of the identified patients must be hospitalized. After 10 to 15 days, it is necessary to evaluate whether beds will be available for such patients.

They will need oxygen supply and other equipment, additional manpower. This cannot be done in a bureaucratic system. These must be done in an emergency arrangement. “Parliament is in session now,” he said. The government may declare emergency health care in the country. This will make it easier to take the necessary steps to control the infection.

On the other hand, the chairman of the pharmacology department of BSMMU. Sayedur Rahman told Prothom Alo that if you want to stop the infection, you have to do a ‘lockdown’. Even if you don’t use the word ‘lockdown’, people should stop moving, especially in places where the infection is high. Second, by increasing the amount of sample tests, patients need to be identified and treated. The 18-point guidelines do not guarantee the implementation of these two basic methods of infection control.