Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has completed the construction and furnishing of an isolation facility inside the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' (IFRC) largest field hospital, operated by QRCS and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) at Refugee Camp No 7 in Cox's Bazar, southern Bangladesh.
The purpose of the new facility is to isolate suspected cases and treat Covid-19 patients in the district that hosts Myanmar refugee camps. Co-operated by IFRC and BDRCS, it has a capacity of 54 beds as well as isolation, healthcare and services rooms.
Construction works of the facility were completed in a short period in order to support the national coronavirus control efforts and protect the local community and refugees against its impact in this most vulnerable area, QRCS said in a statement.
Cox’s Bazar is the world’s largest settlement of refugee camps, facing protracted health and living difficulties, with the Covid-19 outbreak aggravating their suffering.
Through its representation mission in Bangladesh, QRCS is working on other activities to reduce the spread of the virus in refugee camps. Until the end of June, these operations benefited 53,511 people, with a total budget of $157,000.
Refugee families received health education about preventive and healthy practices. In collaboration with BDRCS, 5,000 food baskets were distributed to the families affected by the lockdown in many Upazila.
All the resources and capabilities of QRCS’s healthcare centres at refugee camps (health centre at Camp No 19, health centre at Camp E8 and field hospital at Camp No 7) were summoned, ready for action in case of any emergency. The medical and other personnel at health centres were trained in how to deal with the patients and protect against infection.
QRCS works closely with BDRCS to secure the medical and protective supplies for the staff of camp-bound health centres, such as masks, gloves, ventilators, sanitisers, oxygen tanks, etc.
A series of precautions were taken to protect the staff, volunteers and beneficiaries. Clinic attendance was minimised to avoid crowds. Staff of the health centres at Camps 19 and E8 was divided into two groups, to cut staff attendance by half in line with government orders.
Strict instructions were given to all the personnel under QRCS’s interventions to follow the guidelines issued by the competent authorities to deal with the virus. The medical workers and volunteers were given masks, sanitisers, gloves and other protective supplies.
Representatives of the QRCS mission take part in all the co-ordination and emergency meetings convened by the Movement, both at the national and Myanmar refugee levels, to ensure an effective Covid-19 response in line with the government’s preparedness and response plans and developments of the situation.