When we have a new disease that raises more questions than answers, whatever we can learn about its spread is crucial
With the coronavirus pandemic raging through the nation, with close to 250,000 confirmed cases and over 3,000 confirmed deaths, we have editorialized before on how important it is to ramp up testing.
When we have a new disease that raises more questions than answers, whatever we can learn about its spread is crucial, and testing is the best way we can get there -- it will provide us with a clear understanding of how many people are truly affected, and allow people to be more careful once they test positive, so further spread can be prevented.
Otherwise, what we have is a situation where hundreds of thousands of people are perhaps roaming around in the nation with no clue how they are making the situation worse.
In this regard, sample collection from home can be a great way to bring the service to the people, instead of making them wait in long queues, that too next to other people who may or may not be affected by Covid-19, further increasing the chance of spreading.
As of now, there is no list provided by the government which clarifies the facilities which provide sample collection from home -- a list would have been truly helpful in providing necessary information to the public.
As of now, it costs Tk500 for sample collection from home for public health service providers and Tk4,500 for private institutions -- a cost that might be too much for many, especially in an economy that is still struggling.
However, while this may be an expensive method, the government would do well to ensure that it becomes more accessible to the people of this country, so that they are more encouraged to get tested when they suspect infection.