Ensure uninterrupted supply of COVID-19 test kits

COVID-19 test kit. Fiel photo
COVID-19 test kit. Fiel photo
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The battle against the Covid-19 epidemic is becoming increasingly difficult. With the infection spreading further, more and more samples need to be tested, but reports of shortage of test kits in test centers are pouring in from different parts of the country.

A report published on the front page of Prothom Alo on Thursday said that there is a shortage of kits in 12 test centers in at least 9 districts of the country. With the amount of kits in stock at most of the remaining test centers, it will be possible to run the test for only three or four more days.

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In view of the ongoing infection transmission trend in the country, some health experts say that at least 20,000 samples should be tested every day. But so far a maximum of 16,552 samples have been tested in a day.

That is only one day, 16 June. As a result, in terms of tests Bangladesh lags far behind that the other countries in the world, even in South Asia. Coronavirus samples have been tested on 69,351 people per 1 million people in the United States so far, compared to 63,565 in Italy and 5,329 in India, and in Bangladesh only 4,029, according to Worldometers. It is very poor, especially in the current context of the upward trend of infection.

The number of tests is not increasing due to lack of kits in parallel with the increase in the number of people who wants to be tested. As a result, untested samples are accumulating in the test centers every day and are becoming invalid and discarded.

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Those whose samples are being rejected are not being sampled a second time. As a result, their risk and that of others are increasing. The situation is getting complicated.The question is what is the cause of this crisis of test kits? Who is responsible for this?

The Department of Health is no longer disclosing information about the collection, distribution and storage of coronavirus identification test kits.

The media has not received any official information about this since April 11. The rule of questioning by journalists has also been lifted. The health minister recently said that there would be no shortage of kits in Bangladesh. But how will the people be reassured by these words of the minister? If there is no shortage, then why the tests are closed in some test centers due to lack of kits?

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Why aren't all the testing facilities being fully utilized? The health minister himself said that at present due to the high demand for corona test kits, it is not available in all the countries.

The people will naturally be curious. They will want to know what measures the government has taken. If there is a crisis in our country, will it be resolved quickly? The public should be reassured as to how much of the kit is in stock at the moment and what quality kits are being collected, from where, and by what means.

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