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Bangladesh’s COVID-19 testing criticised , Information about getting tested

Crossref DOI link: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31819-5

Published: 2020-08

Update policy: https://doi.org/10.1016/ELSEVIER_CM_POLICY

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Bangladesh expands Covid-19 testing

Bangladesh so far tested samples of only 2,419 suspects

Getting tested for coronavirus in Bangladesh has not been an easy task for many suspect cases as the health authorities kept it quite limited since the first infection was reported on March 8.

Amid much criticism from different quarters, the health authorities finally expanded its numbers for testing from Thursday afternoon.

In the last 24 hours till 12pm yesterday, a total of 203 samples were tested in Bangladesh.

Although health officials collected 523 samples over the  24 hours, only 203 of them were tested, and as of 2:30pm on Friday results were pending for the rest.

The daily testing rate remained below 100 per day till March 25, a day before the government imposed a shutdown to encourage people to stay at home to fight the spread of coronavirus.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) widened the volume of testing from Thursday, a day after a meeting was held between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, doctors, and health officials. The premier, at the meeting, suggested to collect samples from various areas across the country to get a clearer picture on Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh.

The move comes from DGHS at a time when thousands of panic-gripped people wait in queues outside the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), requesting them to test their samples, but the authorities continue to decline most of them, saying that no tests are required for people with only flu or cough like symptoms.

According to IEDCR, tests are conducted on suspects such as returned expatriates showing symptoms; persons exposed to someone who has already tested positive; symptomatic people aged over 60 having comorbidity; symptomatic people with any pre-existing condition; persons having atypical pneumonia; serious hospitalized patients with corona syndromes; professionals with symptoms who came into contact with different walks of people.

South Korea is the ideal example of how to slow down the spread of the virus – isolate people, and test them as much as possible. It tested over 325,000 people within a single month and isolated the infected.

On the other hand, Bangladesh so far tested samples of only 2,419 suspects. Among them, 61 people have been found infected with coronavirus, with six deaths confirmed by IEDCR.