Dhaka, Bangladesh
Window of hope opens: Flu corner set up at hospitals

Window of hope opens: Flu corner set up at hospitals

Mazharul Islam Mitchel:
Public hospitals in major

metropolitan cities and most sadar

hospitals of the country have set up

separate 'flu corner' to test and

treat patients suffering from fever

and cough.

The latest emergency step is part

of preventive measures to ensure

treatment of suspected novel

coronavirus-infected patients, based

on a government directive, after

reports on refusal of treatment to

many such sufferers and death of a

few sans medicare amid corona scare.

The flu corner, which will be open

from 8:00am to 1:00pm every day, is

situated in the terrace of the main


One such window of hope is set up

at an annex building of Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujib Medical University on

the other side of the road in front

of the BSMMU campus with ''full

facilities'', physicians at the unit

told the media.

The other dedicated medical window

has been set up at Shaheed

Suhrawardy Medical College (ShSMC)

Hospital, Dhaka Medical College

(DMC) Hospital, Chittagong 250-Bed

General Hospital, Chittagong Medical

College Hospital, Khulna Medical

College Hospital (KMCH) and most

sadar hospitals of the country.

Nahid Arefin, a medical officer of

the flu corner of Shaheed Suhrawardy

Medical College and Hospital, said

they talked to patients with fever,

cough, cold and breathing

difficulties, and if they exhibit

symptoms of COVID-19, the patients

will be asked to contact the

Institute of Epidemiology, Disease

Control and Research (IEDCR). In

serious cases, they will call the

IEDCR, officials of which will come

and test the patients for the virus.

“We will ensure special care for

people suffering from fevers,

coughs, colds and breathing

difficulties at the flu corner set

at the outdoor of the hospital,”

Uttam Kumar Barua, director at the

hospital, told The News Today.

Professor Mujibur Rahman of the

medicine department of Dhaka Medical

College told this correspondent that

they are providing special care to

people who are coming to the

hospital with fever and cough and

keeping them away from other


“We’re getting spontaneous response

from the patients affected by cold

diseases through the service-

delivery activities in the flu ward

for free,” said Director of KMCH Dr

ATM Monjur Morshed.

“The Personal Protective Equipment

(PPE) and other necessary inputs

will be available at every ‘Flu

Corner’ very soon for doctors,

nurses and other health-service

providers as their complete safety

while treating coronavirus-infected

patients at the isolation unit of

the hospitals,” he added.

While visiting maximum hospitals in

the city, this correspondent found

several banners and posters pasted

at different points in and around

hospitals directing people suffering

from fever, cough, cold and

breathing difficulties to go to the

flu corner for special care.

“We started the flu corner and

dealt with patients suffering from

fever and cold. We are talking about

how the people became ill and with

whom they came in contact, and then

we are providing them our treatment

based on the symptoms,” medical

officer of Shaheed Suhrawardy

Medical College and Hospital Nahid


“We will refer patients with

coronavirus symptoms to the IEDCR

for tests.”

Hospital officials said they had

received an order to set up the flu

corner, which had been operational

since Sunday.

But healthcare professionals of

the country seem ill prepared and

too panic-stricken to handle even

common ailments against the

background of the coronavirus


ShSMC Resident Physician Dr Md Al

Amin said the hospital had decided

to run the flu-corner units to

provide treatment instead of going

for isolation at the moment.

“We have already appointed two

doctors, nurses, and other

healthcare workers for this

purpose,” he said.

Isolation wards will be operated by

six designated hospitals, which have

been earmarked for serving

coronavirus-affected patients, the

doctor added.

The hospitals are Railway General

Hospital at Kamlapur, Mahanagar

General Hospital at Nayabazar,

Kamrangirchar 31-Bed Hospital,

Mirpur Maternity, Aminbazar 20-Bed

Hospital, and Jinjira 20-Bed


“We are regularly taking the

history of the patients and trying

to find if they are showing symptoms

of coronavirus infection,” said Dr

Al Amin.

“If we find patients with such

symptoms, we transfer them to the

Institute of Epidemiology, Disease

Control and Research (IEDCR). We

previously identified two such

patients who had come from Italy and

Saudi Arabia, both of whom are now

quarantined under the supervision of

IEDCR,” he added.

ShSMC Medical Officer Dr Arunava

Paul said they are prepared to

tackle the identified symptoms of

the infection. ''But we still do not

have protective equipment. We have

only received gowns and masks for

the doctors.”

Dr Al Amin said: “We are just

operating the screening process. If

anyone suffering from fever, cough,

and breathing problems is

identified, they will be referred to

the six hospitals which have fully

prepared isolation units.”

The doctors at those hospitals

have the necessary equipment which

is badly needed to check

coronavirus-affected people.

Nevertheless, he expects that

essential equipment will be provided

soon by the Health Services

Division. Moreover, the Health

Emergency Operation Centre and

Control Room will also cooperate

with their flu corner.

“A doctor was assigned to note

down patients’ history, and if they

find anyone with Covid-19 symptoms,

we will inform the IEDCR,” Dr Al

Amin said.

The situation in Bangladesh has

remained manageable till now, he

commented. The latest official

confirmation Wednesday put the death

toll from corona at 6 with one more

death and infections to 54.

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