Private hospitals, clinics and doctors’ chambers will face punishment if these remain closed during the coronavirus outbreak, Health Minister Zahid Malik said on Friday.
Many doctors are not providing services fearing the contagion and lab technicians are shunning workplaces halting medical tests, according to the patients.
In some cases, patients moved from one hospital to the other but could not receive treatment and finally died, the media reported. In another case, the doctor fled leaving the patient behind.
“The private hospitals are not providing services properly. Clinics and chambers are partially closed. We’ve noticed it and it was also evident on social media,” said the minister, according to bdnews24.com.
“It is not acceptable that you withdraw yourself from your duties in times of crisis. Stand beside the people and provide them with services. We will not hesitate to take action against those who fail to do so.”
The hospitals in Dhanmondi, which were once crowded with patients to see specialist doctors, are now deserted as the doctors stopped coming there.
Kurmitola General Hospital, Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital and Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute & Hospital have been dedicated to the covid-19 patients, the minister said.
Apart from IEDCR, the Institute of Public Health, ICDDR,B, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Shishu Hospital, BSMMU, the National Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Referral Centre and Dhaka Medical College Hospital have started the RT-PCR test to detect coronavirus infections, he said.
The RT-PCR testing to detect covid-19 started at Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, Cox’s Bazar Medical College and Rangpur Medical College.
It is ‘important’ to go through medical tests if someone shows the symptoms of novel coronavirus, said Zahid Malik. “I hope everyone will come for the medical test if needed. You and your family will be safe, if the test is done.”
“There’s no harm in testing; no social taboo. We need to identify coronavirus infection to gradually eliminate it.”
No coronavirus cases were reported from 22 districts in the country, said Abul Kalam Azad, director general of Directorate General of Health Services, said.
“There are designated isolation wards in all government hospitals. Some big hospitals are dedicated to coronavirus patients. Any patient having cold and cough should go to those hospitals to receive treatment,” he told the patients.
The DGHS has 71,000 RT-PCR testing kits and 64,110 personal protective equipment in store, according to the minister.
“Do more tests; there’s no scarcity of test kits. We’ll be able to know only through the tests how many patients were infected through social contact,” Zahid Malik told doctors.
“We are supplying PPEs to the hospitals. You’ll get it whenever you need it.”
The government will take necessary action against ‘fake news’ on the novel coronavirus doing the rounds on social media. It created confusion and hampered disease management, said the health minister.
He requested the media to disseminate “real news” and proper suggestions to prevent the disease.