• Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:34 am

DU to restart Covid-19 testing with own funds

  • Published at 10:03 pm June 22nd, 2020
File photo: The Covid-19 testing facility at Dhaka University was inaugurated on May 5, 2020 Courtesy: DU Public Relations Office

After the coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh, the response committee of DU on March 29 proposed to the government that the university test samples at its lab

Dhaka University will start testing for Covid-19 once again at its facilities from Tuesday.

The Centre for Advanced Research in Sciences (CARS) laboratory will again conduct tests using two reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines among the 14 of DU, led by the coronavirus response technical committee of the university.

This was first revealed by Prof Nasima Sultana, additional director general (Administration) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), in Monday’s daily online bulletin. Prof Sharif Akhteruzzaman, convener of the DU technical committee, confirmed the matter.

“Earlier, we had postponed testing considering that regular activities might start, but this is not possible now. The university will bear the expenses of testing as before, while the health authorities will provide the samples,” Prof Sharif said.

“Considering the crisis in the country, we felt that we should stand by the nation. Moreover, the DGHS asked us to resume testing,” the genetic engineering and biotechnology professor added. 

Prof Sharif also said the health authorities would provide test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE), while other costs would be borne by the University authorities.

After the coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh, the response committee of DU on March 29 proposed to the government that the university test samples at its lab, adding that its researchers were able to develop low cost real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (rt-PCR) kits for sample testing.

On April 9, the secretary of Health Services was notified by the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division of the Health Ministry that DU, JUST, SUST and CVASU laboratories could be used once feasibility tests had been carried out. DU got approval for testing on April 27.

The CARS lab of DU tested around 2,378 samples from May 7 to May 27, before shutting down testing due to a crisis of funds and the need for returning the laboratory apparatus, which would be used in the labs of various departments for regular research, according to DU VC Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman.

DU also did genome sequencing of five samples.

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