Tougher time awaits unless tests increased

Bangladesh is heading towards a tougher time as the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19 is spreading quickly among the people through community transmission, said experts. They said the number of tests is much less compared to the number of spread of the virus and infections. Not only that those 19 laboratories, which are being used for testing purposes, are not being utilized properly.

According to experts, only 80 among per 10 lakh people are being tested to identify the COVID-19, which is the lowest in number compared to other countries. In Italy, it could be mentioned that 17,758 among per 10 lakh people are being tested to identify their virus infection. As a result, experts opined that there exists weaknesses in the virus testing system and methods.

They also opined that there is no alternative to getting over such type of weakness and increasing of the number of tests as soon as possible. Experts also warned that a tougher time is waiting for us unless the country handles the crisis in terms of raising the number of tests and ensuing required medical care.

Apart from testing at RT PCR laboratories, more importance should be given on rapid testing. Skilled and well trained technologists will have to be appointed for sample collection purposes. Besides, the ongoing lockdown should have to be executed properly, otherwise there is no way of being relieved from mass spreading of the virus and infection as well.

Talking about the existing poor preparations to fight against the deadly COVID-19, Dr Sayeef Ullah Munsi, Chairman of Virology Department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, said that there is no alternative to increasing the number of virus testing.
“The government is trying to do so, but the system should be developed and capacity to be increased”, he said.

He said, “A large number of testing could be possible within a short period of time through the application of antibody and antigen methods. The USA and South Korea are applying these methods in the testing process. Neighbouring India has already purchased 45,000 Rapid Test Kitts.”

Dr Sayeef Ullah Munsi suggested for immediate decision in this regard and warned that delay in taking the decision would create severe problem in fighting the crisis. The death toll by the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh stood at 110 as of Tuesday while the total number of infected people reached 3,382.