Saturday, July 4, 2020 | ePaper

Covid patients died in fire: We have no leadership

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THE devastating fire that killed five patients in the Coronavirus Isolation Unit of United Hospital has exposed the poor conditions of treatment and hospital management. The Isolation Unit was a makeshift arrangement that lacked fire safety measures and was built in violation of building codes. United Hospital has a long reputation for standard treatment and apt management, however, in Covid-19 treatment it has been caught up in a messy situation. The other treatment facilities in Dhaka and district level hospitals have to learn from the devastating fire and act accordingly to protect the life of patients who get admit to save their lives.
Fire Service and Civil Defence spokesperson said the hospital authorities did not seek fire security clearance for building the extension. While the main hospital has a fire licence, it was also necessary for them to get a similar clearance for the annexe. Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam on Thursday inspected 11 fire extinguishers used in dousing the flames and found that eight of them passed their expiry dates. The partitions and rooftops were all made of flammable substances.
Recently Bashundhara Group has set up a 750-bed makeshift hospital at International Convention Centre for Covid-19 treatment as illness and death from the disease are soaring. Navana Group has built a 60-bed Corona hospital in Chattogram's Faujdarhat area. Besides, some private hospitals and all district-level hospitals are providing treatment to Covid-19 patients. We lack information about whether the hospitals followed the building code or not, or whether the fire extinguishers are expired or not.
It is sad that our responsible people who are in responsible positions are found most irresponsible. We have no leadership so our responsible people must serve us responsibly. 

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