Installing PCR machines is underway at all public medical colleges
The government is preparing to conduct 10,000 or more Covid-19 tests per day in 50 laboratories across Bangladesh from the third week of May.
“Real time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) machines are being installed at thirteen government medical college hospitals across the country to increase the number of coronavirus tests conducted per day, starting from the third week of May,” said Ali Noor, secretary at the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division, to Dhaka Tribune on Monday.
“We have 36 government medical college hospitals in the country and all of them are being equipped with coronavirus testing facilities,” he added.
Earlier on Sunday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said it is indeed possible for the government to increase the number of Covid-19 tests performed everyday to 10,000.
Currently there are 37 labs countrywide conducting coronavirus tests.
“As many as 7,208 samples were tested in the past 24 hours at 37 labs across the country. This is the highest number of tests conducted in 24 hours so far,” said Nasima Sultana, additional director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Monday.
“Even if we start conducting 10,000 Covid-19 tests per day, considering our large population, it will still be insignificant and not enough,” said veteran virologist Nazrul Islam, to Dhaka Tribune.
“We should go for an extensive testing program but we have yet to achieve that capacity,” added Dr Nazrul, a former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
As of Monday, Bangladesh confirmed 15,692 coronavirus cases with the death toll rising to 239 since 11 new fatalities reported.
Till now the fast-spreading coronavirus has claimed more than 284,000 lives and infected more than 4,201,000 people globally, according to Worldometer.
As many as 1,502,000 people have recovered from Covid-19, which has spread to 210 countries and territories across the world.