PM hopes to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in coming days


Dhaka, Oct 17: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday expressed her firm optimism to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bangladesh in upcoming winter and asked the physicians to continue to serve the humanity during the pandemic.

“We’re hopeful that we would be able to contain further spread of the disease in the coming days,” she said while inaugurating “The First International E-Conference on Critical Care-2020” virtually as the chief guest.

The conference, organised by Bangladesh Society of Anaesthesiologists (BSA), is being held at a time when the world is reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic fallout.

“Our efforts and the hard-work of the physicians and health workers could contain the spread of the deadly virus in Bangladesh,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The premier said to face the COVID-19 emergency, the government has appointed 2,000 doctors and 5,000 nurses on an urgent basis.

“So far, we are fortunate that both the infection and mortality rates of the disease are very low in Bangladesh,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the job of a physician is a noble profession, and by treating an ailing human being, they serve the humanity. “So, when you become a doctor, your first and foremost task is to serve the humanity. I hope that you would not forget your duty in any circumstance,” she said.

The premier said the anaesthesiologists play a crucial role in the management of critically ill patients apart from their work in the operation theatres.

Anaesthesiology, she said, a medical specialty concerned with the total preoperative care of patients before, during and after surgery, is getting increased attention everywhere.

The premier said this is because it covers anaesthesia, intensive care medicine, critical emergency medicine, and pain medicine. Bangladesh is no exception, she added.

“We duly recognise their contribution. I would like to urge them to equip themselves with updated knowledge and technical know-how to deal with critically ill patients,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the country’s anaesthesiologists have been rendering a wonderful job during this pandemic by managing the COVID-19 patients in the ICUs and outside.

“Bangladesh Society of Anaesthesiologists helped the government prepare ‘The National Guideline for COVID ICU Management’, she said.

The premier mentioned that the BSA also organized new ICU facilities all over the country and trained up ICU doctors and staff to manage the COVID-19 patients.

She said a good number of physicians, including some anaesthesiologists, died of COVID-19 while discharging their duties.

“I would like to pay my deep homage to their memories and extend sympathies to the family members,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has given utmost importance to improve the country’s healthcare service as it truly believes that getting healthcare is the basic rights of a citizen.

“We have widened the treatment facilities at the government hospitals by adding additional beds, recruiting doctors and other health staff,” she said.

The premier said the government has also set up a number of new specialised hospitals in the country in last couple of years, while the vibrant private sector has also come up in a big way in this area.

Sheikh Hasina said about 18 thousand community clinics and Union Health Centres, set up by the government, have been providing primary healthcare services to the rural people. “The patients are getting 30 types of medicines free of cost,” she said.

The premier congratulated the past and present office-bearers of the World Federation of Society of Anaesthesiologists(WFSA), and faculties from home and abroad for joining the conference.

“I also hope that you all would be benefitted through exchanging your knowledge and experiences,” she said.