It is imperative that facilities like DMCH ramp up their testing and treatment capabilities
It is regrettable that, in the face of some of the highest infection and casualty numbers Bangladesh has seen, a facility as reputed as Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) is still too ill-equipped to test coronavirus samples other than those of its own patients.
The director of DMCH has said that the centre is far from having the capacity to test outside samples. In addition to the one that it has, the centre would need at least two more RT-PCR machines to just test their existing internal patients, health care professionals, and staff -- a testament to just how underequipped it is.
The issue is also not limited to the testing of samples, but also the collection and preservation, which is only further evidence of the facility’s limitations.
Testing, contract-tracing, and subsequent quarantining has been deemed one of the most effective courses of action against Covid-19. Now, especially, with the lockdown lifted, it is imperative that facilities like DMCH ramp up their testing and treatment capabilities.
If infected people are not tested and quarantined, it will become increasingly difficult to keep infection rates under control otherwise and the broader health care system will be far more prone to being overwhelmed.
It is essential that we employ all provisions at hand to increase our testing capabilities; if not done at the earliest, this could have grave repercussions and lead to greater spikes in cases and fatalities. As we have said many times before, we are not out of the woods yet, and as such, cannot afford to be ill-prepared on the front lines.