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1 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM

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COVID-19 testing labs increasing

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

The number of testing labs for coronavirus has been increasing day by day as COVID-19 investigation jobs had been earlier done solely by Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) since the outbreak of the deadly virus. Six institutions have started conducting these tests including five in Dhaka and one in Chattogram. Besides, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Barisal, Khulna medical college hospitals and Sylhet Osmani medical college hospital are set to have COVID-19 test facilities.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) has also set up a COVID-19 test laboratory at the old Bangladesh Betar building in Shahbagh.

However, IEDCR started publishing the COVID-19 tests from 28 January and have been giving updates every 24 hours through regular press briefings about how many tests have been conducted. The World Health Organisation is placing

priority in testing in order to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. There are allegations that IEDCR is not always complying with requests for tests. Or the results of the tests are not being released. On the other hand, influential people are putting pressure on IEDCR to get their tests done. In the last 64 days, from 28 January to 31 March, IEDCR has tested 1379 samples. Yet on Tuesday it was said that they have tested in total 1602 samples.

In Dhaka, till Tuesday, the Public Health Institute in Mohakhali, began COVID-19 tests three days ago. So far they have tested one sample only. Dhaka Shishu Hospital tested four people, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) tested 169 samples while Armed Forces Institute of Pathology tested 21 samples.

Talking to media BSMMU vice chancellor Kanak Kanti Barua said, “Samples would be collected from patients coming to the outdoor with COVID-19 symptoms and samples would also be collected from those who requested to be tested.”

At the regular press briefing on Tuesday, government officials said that COVID-19 testing has started at the Rangpur and Mymensingh medical colleges.

Principal of Rangpur Medical College, Nuruannabi, told the media that officials have come from Dhaka to train personnel at the hospital and the testing would probably commence from Thursday.

Principal of Mymensingh Medical College, Chittaranjan Debnath, said that the laboratory was being prepared and the tests would begin in a day or two. They had received 220 test kits.

Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, located at Sitakunda, Chattogram, began running tests four days ago. They have tested 28 samples so far. IEDCR has a laboratory in Cox’s Bazar. No test was conducted their till Tuesday.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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