A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine used to detect coronavirus and other complicated diseases, and eight ventilators are lying packed at Shaheed M Monsur Ali Medical College in Sirajganj though the country’s health sector is struggling to tackle the coronavirus pandemic with its limited resources.
The medical college authorities have sought a new PCR machine from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) even though the previous machine and ventilators bought eight months back remained unpacked, said Project Director of Dr Krishna Kumar Pal.
Last year, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) launched an investigation into the irregularities in purchasing the medical equipment for the medical college spending nearly Tk 250 crore.
Although the ACC is yet to conclude its probe but it has no objection to using the PCR machines and ventilators, Dr Krishna said quoting the investigation officer of the ACC.
The ventilators which are lifesaving equipment for COVID-19 patients are ready for use by just setting up oxygen plant and air machine, he said.
Principal of the college Dr Nazrul Islam said the PCR machine was bought under a specific project and it would require fresh approval to use the machines due to the ACC case.
“The process of having fresh approval is complicate. So, we appealed for a new PCR machine on April 26,” he added.
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Besides, five ventilators allocated to Bongamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib 250 Bed General Hospital two years back are still lying unused.
Dr Habibe Millat Munna, chairman of hospital’s managing committee, said expensive medical equipment, including PCR machine and ventilators, are lying abandoned at different hospitals as they were supplied in an unplanned way.
“On Tuesday, we’ve urged the DGHS to take steps to use the unused PCR machine and ventilators immediately,” he said.