Experts for more coronavirus testing facilities

The government must increase the coronavirus testing facilities, said experts warning that next couple of days is the peak time for spreading the virus in the country. “Less number of cases is being confirmed due to lack in testing facilities,” renowned virologist Prof Nazrul Islam told Bangladesh Post.

“Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research or IEDCR is unable to brief us details due to its lack of facilities. However, testing labs have been opened in Dhaka, Rajshahi and others places along with the IEDCR. But we need to scale up the tests,” he said.

Experts also urged people from all walks of life to stay home to maintain social distance as well as called the rich and different organisations to help poor peoples during the crisis to combat the coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic.

Prof Nazrul said, “We expect to understand the status of the virus (in the country) in the next four or five days. Then it will help us to take proper measures. Meantime, people must stay home.”

He, however, admits that low-income earning people including garment workers are returning to Dhaka. The rich “have to help the poor so that the later can get daily essentials during the crisis,” Nazrul insisted.

On March 8, the IEDCR announced for the first time the detection of three Covid-19 patients in Bangladesh. As of Friday, the total number of coronavirus cases in Bangladesh is now 61 with six deaths.

The government has closed schools, offices and shut down communications to stem the spread of the virus in the country. Troops have deployed to help local administration combat the coronavirus.

However, people in some parts of Dhaka and its adjacent area as well as in rural areas are seen not maintaining social distance. Replying to a query on the focus for the time being, Prof Saif Ullah Munshi told Bangladesh Post that the government must take hardline  to enforce social distance. 

“Enhancing testing facilities to treat coronavirus patients and providing foods to the poor are other things must be ensured,” said Prof Saif Ullah, head of Virology department Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), urging the private sectors to help the government. “People must maintain social distance. The law enforcers need to be more vigilant at this time,” he added.