The number one obstacle in our fight against the coronavirus has been a lack of information
One of the ways in which we can truly gauge the extent to which the coronavirus has spread to our community is through vigorous testing, and subsequent contact tracing, isolation, and treatment to ensure that the virus does not spread even further.
However, while this would allow us to tell whether a person is positive for Covid-19 or not, one way in which the rest of the world is attempting to attain a better understanding of the virus is by testing for antibodies, something Bangladesh would do well to do as well.
Unlike a conventional test, the antibody test would see a body’s reaction to the virus, and thereby give us a clearer understanding of whether a person has had the coronavirus before.
Experts have said that testing for antibodies would go a long way towards understanding the extent of the pandemic at the population level, and allow doctors and scientists to figure the extent of infection in specific individuals, and how long the person in question has had the infection.
The other advantage of the antibody tests is that they are cheaper than regular tests and, as such, would allow the government to carry them out on a larger scale, especially outside Dhaka, where our understanding of the extent of the pandemic remains sparse.
And if one considers the fact that antibody tests require little to no training to be carried out, these can be used to set up pop-up stations and centres all across the country, and potentially become a great source of information for the government to fight against the pandemic.
The number one obstacle in our fight against the coronavirus has been a lack of information and carrying out antibody tests would go a long way towards ensuring that this particular obstacle becomes less prominent.