Coronavirus: 3 designated hospitals still not prepared

Newly designated for running coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, three of the hospitals in the capital said on Tuesday that they were yet to be prepared for collecting samples from coronavirus suspects and carry out tests amid some unresolved issues, throwing service seekers into confusion.

Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (Icddr,b) and Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives were permitted to conduct tests on suspects following long queues at the IEDCR, the lone government institute for running COVID-19 tests.

Icddr,b, however, was yet to start collecting and testing coronavirus suspects’ samples even on Tuesday while Dhaka Shishu Hospital started testing limited numbers of samples of children only, said officials of the hospital.

Meanwhile, an official of ideSHi told New Age that they were yet to receive any kits from the concerned authorities.

‘We have sent a letter to the Directorate General of Health Services for kits and seeking instructions on how to operate,’ said officials.

A notice in front of Shishu Hospital’s microbiology laboratory said that they would only collect samples of coronavirus suspected children and adult suspects must go to nearby Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital to get tested.

The hospital’s microbiology laboratory in-charge professor Samir Saha told New Age that they were not ready to collect samples from adult suspects since the hospital specialised for children.

Suhrawardy Medical, however, did not set up any such facilities and was provided with required equipment, said the hospital’s director Uttam Kumar Barua.

Samir Saha admitted that there were miscommunications and lack of coordination which currently put COVID-19 suspects in anguish.

Md Murshid thought he was suffering from coronavirus-like symptoms and called a dedicated hotline. He was advised to visit Dhaka Shishu Hospital where his samples would be collected.

The private job holder from Adabor went through several departments of the hospital on Tuesday but none could give him a proper direction regarding who to give samples to for testing.

‘I feel miserable. Doctors over the hotlines are advising people to visit designated hospitals for tests, whereas the hospital authorities were saying they would not be able to collect samples,’ Murshid told New Age.

Shishu Hospital physicians said that they faced similar cases in last two days, but could not collect samples. All adult COVID-19 suspects were sent to Suhrawardy Hospital, where they also faced test refusal.

Icddr,b has put up a notice announcing that they were not testing COVID-19 suspects.

An official of the hospital told New Age that they received 200 kits from the IEDCR, but the hospital was yet to receive proper instructions.

When approached, a communication official of Icddr,b said, ‘We are working out the details of whom we will test, how will the samples be collected and what we will do with the test results.’

Directorate General of Health Services director Habibur Rahman, in an online press conference on Tuesday, requested people not to throng the hospitals if they had symptoms of COVID-19. He suggested calling the dedicated hotlines.

He said all these three facilities were designated to conduct tests for COVID-19, the disease that killed five people and infected 51 so far.

‘If we consider you suspected, we would collect samples from your homes,’ he said.

Meanwhile, our correspondent in Cox’s Bazar reported that IEDCR will start coronavirus test in the district from today.

‘Kits will arrive by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning and two officials of IEDCR posted there will conduct necessary tests,’ Cox’s Bazar Medical College principal professor Anupam Barua told New Age. (Source: New Age)

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