Bangladesh rolls back order asking doctors to treat COVID-19 cases without protective gear

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-03-26 03:20:28 BdST

bdnews24

The Directorate General of Health Services has rolled back its order asking doctors to treat suspected coronavirus patients without personal protective equipment or PPE.

In the order signed by Director (Hospital) Aminul Islam on Wednesday, the directorate said a doctor must treat a patient with symptoms of COVID-19 first and then refer him or her to another doctor, who has PPE, for further treatment.

It drew huge criticisms as the first doctor would become vulnerable to coronavirus infection.     

Later in the night, Aminul told bdnews24.com that they suspended the order and a revised order would be released on Thursday.

PPE consists of protective clothing, gloves, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from infection.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has created a shortage of PPE for medics across the globe.

In Bangladesh, at least one doctor has been infected with the virus after treating a patient without PPE. Several other doctors and health workers of the hospital have also been quarantined.

TWO TEACHERS SUSPENDED

The government suspended two teachers on Wednesday for their “provocative” social media posts amid “coordinated efforts” to fight the virus.

One of them, Shahadat Ullah Kaiser, philosophy lecturer at Barishal Women’s Government College, criticised the government for its “failure” to arrange enough PPE for doctors.

The other, assistant professor Kazi Zakia Ferdousi of English department at Gaforgaon Government College in Mymensingh, expressed suspicion that corrupt officials may embezzle funds for PPE.

Md Mahbub Hossain, secondary and higher education secretary, said in the order suspending the teachers that their actions were “against public interest and in breach of discipline”. 

The secretary asked them to explain their social media posts.