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QRCS opens Coronavirus isolation facility at Bangladesh refugee camps
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 #7 in Cox's Bazar, southern Bangladesh. The purpose of the new facility is to isolate suspected cases and treat the Coronavirus 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 all the isolation, health care, and services rooms. Construction works of the facility were completed in a short period of time, in order to support the national Coronavirus control efforts and protect the local community and refugees against its impact in such a most vulnerable area. Cox’s Bazar is the world’s largest settlement of refugee camps, facing protracted health and living difficulties, with the Coronavirus 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 persons, 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 health care centers at refugee camps (health center at Camp #19, health center at Camp E8, and field hospital at Camp #7) were summoned, ready for action in case of any emergency. The medical and other personnel at health centers 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 centers, such as masks, gloves, ventilators, sanitizers, oxygen tanks, etc. A series of precautions were taken to protect the staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Clinic attendance was minimized to avoid crowds. Staff of the health centers at Camps #19 and E8 was divided into two groups, to cut staff attendance by half as per the 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, sanitizers, gloves, and other protective supplies. Representatives of QRCS mission take part in all the coordination 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.