Bangladesh expands Covid-19 testing capacity manifolds


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Bangladesh expands Covid-19 testing capacity manifolds

Bangladesh will be able to conduct coronavirus test by 10,000 a day from next week as it receives a huge number of kits from various sources. Besides, high quality N-95 masks and secured personal protective equipments (PPE) for physicians and medical staff will arrive from USA, Turkey, South Korea and China by next week of this month, Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) sources said.

Presently the country has over 130,000 testing kit available among those Chinese government, Ali Baba Foundation, South Korea and India gifted the government  1.0 lakh kits as well-wishing gesture, Brigadier General Md. Shahidullah, Director CMSD, told the Business Mirror Tuesday.

Mr. Shahidullah a military doctor also informed Business Mirrors that the CMSD has placed procurement order to international suppliers over 5.0 lakh testing kit, 4 lakh N95 mask , 3.5 lakh secured PPE and many other equipments. “The products we are importing worth Tk 800 crore most of which requisitions are come from the Ministry of Health,” the Brigadier General who is also reputed for his honesty said. Most of the quality kits for coronavirus test and treatment are coming from China, South Korea, Turkey, India and USA.

The Ministry of Health and Mr. Shahidullah have recently brought huge change in the CMSD management amid alleged irregularities. He also said that despite his organization placed procurement orders to international suppliers the money have not yet been released from Ministry of Finance. “We are worried about that as many international supplies will reached to CMSD by next week while the money have not yet been ready,” he expressed his concern.

Testing of coronavirus in Bangladesh is not an easy task for many suspect cases as the health authorities kept it quite limited since the first infection was reported on March 8. Amid much criticism from different quarters, the health authorities finally expanded the numbers for testing from next week by over 10,000 a day. During the period, a total of 136,638 samples were tested in Bangladesh among which 16660 found coronavirus positive, 250 were dead and 3147 recovered from the virus. In the last 24 hours health officials tested 6773 samples, of which 969 found positive. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) will widen the volume of testing from next week, following a directives came from the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The premier, at the meeting, suggested to collect samples from various areas across the country to get a clearer picture on Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh. The move comes from DGHS at a time when thousands of panic-gripped people wait in queues outside the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), requesting them to test their samples, but the authorities continue to decline most of them saying that no tests are required for people with only flu or cough like symptoms.

South Korea is the ideal example of how to slow down the spread of the virus – isolate people, and test them as much as possible. It tested over 325,000 people within a single month and isolated the infected. The fast spreading coronavirus, which was first reported in China’s Wuhan, has infected more than 4 million people and claimed more than 2,85,971 lives across the world to date, according to Worldometer.



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