All Parjatan hotels now free for the health staff

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Healthcare employees treating Covid-19 patients may stay in the hotels and motels of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation for free.

The 22 hotels and motels across the country have been prepared to host them as per government instruction, said Ram Chandra Das, chairman of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation.

the government instructed , they have kept prepared all of them.

The health department was looking for residential facilities for doctors and other employees engaged in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Local administration will be able to use the facilities for doctors and other health staffers whenever they need, Das said.

BPC’s hotels and motels are in Dhaka, Khagrachari, Bandarban, Rangamati, Cox’s Bazar, Kuakata, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Bogura, Benapole, Sylhet, Meherpur and Tungipara.

The facilities have around 750 beds, a BPC official said.

“Although we are offering our facilities for a great cause, we are a little worried about the protection of our staff,” the official said, wishing anonymity.

He hopes the government would take necessary steps to ensure the health safety of BPC employees.

Some doctors, dealing with coronavirus patients, have started using BPC’s Hotel Abakash in the capital’s Mohakhali since Thursday, officials said.

“These hotels and motels had been empty since the coronavirus outbreak. If these hotels and motels can be used for the accommodation of doctors and other health employees in this national crisis, it would be of great satisfaction,” Das said.

However, experts said the authorities must ensure the safety of the BPC staff first. Otherwise, coronavirus may get transmitted from there.

Bangladesh has been witnessing a sharp rise in deaths and new cases over the last few days. A total of 482 people tested positive for coronavirus until yesterday, of them, 30 had died.

The government has designated several hospitals for the treatment of patients infected by the highly contagious virus. Experts recommend special residential facilities for the doctors and other health staff to prevent infection to their family members and others.

Aminul Hasan, director (hospital) at Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said coronavirus infected patients are now being treated at five hospitals in the capital.

The hospitals are Kuwait-Bangladesh Maitree Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital, Dhaka Mohanagar General Hospital (Naya Bazar) and Maternal & Child Health Training & Research Institute, Lalkuthi, Mirpur.

Over 50 doctors working at Kuwait-Bangladesh Maitree Hospital are staying at a private hotel and a prominent media reported that some cooks and employees fled the hotel fearing coronavirus infection.

Aminul Hasan said, “We are looking for hotels for the accommodation of doctors and other health staffers.”

Prof Muzaherul Huq, former adviser (Southeast Asia Region) of the World Health Organization, said as per the ideal practice, doctors and other health employees treating Covid-19 patients, must be quarantined to prevent transmission of the virus.

The authorities would ensure residential and other essential services to the doctors at the hospital where they would work and none of them would go outside, he said.

There should be four teams of doctors, of which one team would remain as reserve force and after working for 14 days, the four teams would be replaced by four other teams, he said.

Then the previous four teams would be in quarantine for 14 days before meeting their families and would join work after one or two weeks, he added.

Hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, must have the facilities, he said.

“If making residential facilities at hospitals isn’t possible, they [doctors] can be kept at hotels, but similar safety measures must be taken there,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.