United Hospital, Dhaka. Photo: AA
The outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic has paralyzed the whole world. The economic wheels of most of the countries have slowed down. So far over 6 hundred 50 thousand people have died of this disease worldwide. Coronavirus broke out in the Wuhan city of China at the end of 2019. Coronavirus has hammered Bangladesh too. Over three thousand people in Bangladesh have so far demised of coronavirus. The name Covid 19 was later on given by World Health Organization (WHO).
Most of the people have become confined at home because of coronavirus. We surf the internet, check email and go through social media sitting at home. Most people have been working from home. Many offices and factories have not yet resumed their work in full swing. Some offices have reopened in Bangladesh after a lockdown of longer than two months but people are still suffering from fear and uncertainty.
Ever since the corona pandemic started last December from China, our world has changed in many ways. Now the air is fresher and the grass is greener though human civilization longing for these changes is in a troubled cachet. In containing the Covid 19 outbreak, China imposed a harsh lockdown quickly bringing situation under control, though rest of the world is struggling to replicate that feat.
Freedom is innate to humanity and to get locked down for whatever reason appears anti-freedom hence non-compatible. Presently, its efficacy is also questionable, as Covid 19 is back to Wuhan through emergence a cluster of new infection.
Consequently, World Health Organization (WHO) says that this may not be a plateau of pandemic having stiff ascent and descent. Rather a pandemic procession of wave is ahead requiring long term calculative navigation to sail safe.
A few weeks ago, my wife who is a physician and also Editor-in-Chief of The Asian Age, had sneezing and coughing problems. She took medicines for asymptomatic Covid 19. After three or four days she felt unwell with her chest.
Something was discomforting her suddenly at midnight. I had allowed my drivers and domestic workers to go on leave on health grounds. I got very worried about her treatment at that time. I called my official driver. I went to Ever Care Hospital on an urgent basis. The hospital staff carried out a number of tests on my wife. The test reports showed that she was suffering from a respiratory problem resembling pneumonia. 20% of her lungs was infected.
Doctors advised me to get my wife admitted in a hospital with Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities immediately. I sent texts to some of my friends seeking their help to find me a specialized hospital with a reliable ICU. It was difficult to find it at that time when it was midnight. At that time Major General (Retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Security Adviser to the Prime Minister texted me. He asked me not to get panicked and ensured his full cooperation.
Veteran politician, former Commerce Minister and one of the closest allies to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tofail Ahmed also phoned me and asked me not to get worried. My wife preferred to get admitted in a hospital where there were less coronavirus cases. I took her to United Hospital Limited. I found the doctors and nurses of the hospital very much cooperative. They placed my wife in the Covid 19 unit of United Hospital. Some of my friends and relatives suggested that I should not stay there as I would have to take care of my daughter and other family members. But I insisted that I would have to stay with my wife to boost her mental strength. When my wife was affected, I stayed with her in the same room to support her psychologically. The assistance and care we received from the doctors and health professionals of United Hospital was wonderful.
Respiratory specialist Dr. Rawshan Ara Khanam looked after my wife. The nurses of United Hospital reminded me of Florence Nightingale who selflessly took care of people and became an icon in the field of healthcare. We spent 21 days in United Hospital. The management's professionalism and efficiency of United Hospital impressed me. Ten days later my wife's coronavirus report came which was negative. Then she was shifted to a normal cabin from Covid 19 unit. She was seriously damaged internally. She was so weak that she could hardly take any food. My daughter was crying. She spoke to us through video calls from home. We made it a routine to talk to our daughter through video calls everyday from hospital.
After two weeks coronavirus test was conducted on all of us. All reports came negative. It was mercy of God which helped us to meet each other. My friends who cordially helped me during that time are very close to my heart. I am very much thankful to them. Major General (Retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Tofail Ahmed, journalist Nadeem Qadir, relatives, my diplomat friends and well-wishers extended to me angelic support that night which I will never forget in my life. My friends from Armed Forces and civil service deserve applause and special thanks too. I am also thankful to Dr. Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, Director, Medical Services of United Hospital, Moinuddin Hasan Rashid, Chairman of United Hospital and Faizur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of United Hospital.
While staying in United Hospital for medical treatment, we did not feel that we are in a hospital. Rather the atmosphere of United Hospital was very friendly and homely. We felt as if we were at home. This ambience played a great role in mitigating our anxiety and curing my wife. United Hospital seems to me to be a world class health service provider-I can say that for sure.
At United Hospital, providing the patients with a trusted and compassionate environment for healthcare is central to its mission. It draws strength from its purpose, which is above all to help and to heal. The physicians, nurses and other caregivers & supporting staff are passionate about providing the right care at the right time, bringing hope and healing to the patients and their families. Patients trust United Hospital with their most valuable possession - their lives - and all of its caregivers recognize the immense responsibility that comes with that trust.
While concluding, I would like to recall a few words said by Florence Nightingale "For the sick it is important to have the best."
The writer is a diplomat,
entrepreneur, author and Chairman of Editorial Board
of The Asian Age.
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