Tuesday, September 21

Covid-19: What life is like when hospitals cannot admit patients

Covid patients in Sylhet are scrambling from one hospital to another in search of ICU beds

Even if you have the money, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get admitted to a hospital for Covid-19 treatment right away, as hospitals are overwhelmed and extremely unequipped, says Rafiqul Islam, a resident of Dakkhin Surma upazila of Sylhet.

“My father tested positive five days back and is struggling to breathe. He needs an ICU bed but all beds are occupied everywhere.

“We had been to Osmani Medical College Hospital and then to two private hospitals but there was no ICU bed to get him admitted,” Rafiqul, a working man in his late 40s, told UNB in front of North East Medical College Hospital.

“Even the wait at every hospital and every desk was frustrating. We were frequently advised to have patience as they were having a very difficult time. Our medical system has collapsed!” added Rafique.

There is nothing unique in Rafiqul Islam’s case. It is now a common scenario in Sylhet as the number of cases has skyrocketed here in recent weeks as elsewhere in the country.

Relatives of Covid-infected patients are running from one hospital to another to have an ICU bed for them.

Every day the relatives are having the names of patients listed with the hospitals here in an effort to get an ICU bed once it becomes available

According to health authorities, there are 800 Covid beds in different private and government hospitals in the district with 127 ICU beds in total.

Of these, 16 are at Shaheed Shamsuddin Hospital, eight at Osmani Medical College and Hospital, six at Moulvibazar Hospital, and 97 at different private hospitals in the district. But all the beds are occupied due to the rise in the number of Covid patients.

Dr Hossain, in charge of Shaheed Shamsuddin Hospital, said: “No ICU bed is available at the hospital. The relatives of patients are now enlisting their names in the hope to get an ICU bed.”

“Now several patients from one family are admitted to one cabin,” he added.

Meanwhile, people are also crowding Mount Adora Hospital, North East Medical College Hospital, and others to register their names for ICU beds.

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