Covid-19 testing rate way below mark

Virus testing key to diagnosing cases and tracking the epidemic

It is discouraging to learn that the country's Health Department has not yet been able to fix any target on the number of daily tests to be conducted even three and a half months after the transmission of COVID-19 started in Bangladesh. We are told that Health Department could not fix its target on the corona testing due to shortage of laboratories and skilled manpower. 

Increasing the volume of the Covid-19 sample tests is an emergency right now to avert any devastating situation in Bangladesh. When it comes to halting the COVID-19 crisis, virus testing is key to diagnosing cases and tracking the epidemic. It is the only way to uncover just how many people have been infected, and could infect others. 

While China is conducting at least 10 lakh tests in a single city, unfortunately Bangladesh is conducting only 15,000 to 16,000 tests countrywide. 

Increasing the volume of 

the Covid-19 sample tests 

is an emergency right now

The countries that acted swiftly in terms of testing have been among the largest successes of the virus containment. However, in Bangladesh, it is discouraging to learn that due to lack of skilled technicians, most of the laboratories are lagging behind in testing for coronavirus human specimens.

Many coronavirus patients are dying without being tested. People, suspected of being infected with coronavirus, are finding it hard to have their samples tested as they have to stand several hours in the long queues for giving their samples. 

We still do not have enough designated hospitals and labs to conduct COVID-19 tests. A tougher time is waiting for us unless we can expand our testing facilities immediately. 

Also skilled and well-trained technologists will have to be appointed for sample collection purposes. As our testing capacity is inadequate to portray the real picture, we must take necessary steps to conduct adequate and accurate testing. 

Given that testing is crucial to get the people most at risk the care they need, the lack of testing and an increase in demand over supply is critical in determining how the next several weeks of the pandemic will play out.