We need to be carrying at least 10,000 tests every day
With close to 14,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 200 deaths, it is clear that, in Bangladesh, the virus has affected a significant number of people and could potentially affect more.
However, this also indicates that the Bangladeshi authorities have been carrying out tests on a daily basis, with the total number of tests conducted as of Friday standing at over 110,000.
But our test rate at this point is nowhere near enough considering two very important factors: The size of our population and the Dhaka-centric nature of our scope.
Experts have constantly stated that we need to ramp up our testing rate -- both for the virus and for the antibodies, the latter of which is much more easily conducted and cheaper -- citing countries such as South Korea which have done an excellent job of handling the pandemic.
The other problem that we face is that most of the numbers we have, that of the number of confirmed cases and fatality rate, portray only a part of the picture, with most tests being carried out in the capital.
According to experts, we need to be carrying at least 10,000 tests every day -- by people trained well in carrying them out -- to get a real picture of the situation in the rest of the country, and until we are able to do that, we will continue to remain in the dark.
This is especially crucial considering the fact that we have been thinking of opening up our economy in various ways -- such as the RMG sector and shopping malls – and any sort of misstep will be disastrous for the people and their livelihoods, to say nothing of our economy.