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Coronavirus: Govt engages NGOs for testing

  • Published at 02:48 pm April 14th, 2020
Web_Coronavirus test_Mahmud-Hossain-Opu
Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

More test sites urgently needed for quick confirmation of Covid-19 cases

Healthcare authorities have started to engage non government organizations (NGOs) in Covid-19 testing to fight the deadly disease.

“The government is installing booths or kiosks to collect samples for Covid-19 testing across the country, with cooperation from one NGO for the time being,” according to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad, reports BSS.

JKG Healthcare, a non-government healthcare service, has been tasked with setting up 44 sample collection booths, eight of which will be placed in Dhaka, following a South Korean model, said the health services chief. 

Azad said he expects the model to help keep people from moving out of their respective neighborhoods for testing.

“We are welcoming NGO involvement and are urging the private sector to lend a hand to aid government efforts to prevent Covid-19, in view of the rapid growth of cases,” Azad said.

JKG treats poor patients as part of its mission. A JKG staffer said they plan to eventually install 320 sample collection booths across the country.

Officials at the directorate general of health services familiar with the development, said the 44 booths would be complemented by some sub-booths to expedite sample collection from Covid-19 suspects.

They added that health workers engaged in the process have been trained to follow strict directives in performing their tasks to ensure protection of everyone involved in the process.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Private Medical College Association (BPMCA) president Mubin Khan said all the 69 private medical colleges and hospitals in the country were providing healthcare services to the people round the clock in this crisis.

“Our association is in constant touch with concerned government health officials and organizations to serve Covid-19 patients, as needed,” he said.

Khan said BPMCA has handed over two private hospitals - Shahabuddin Medical College Hospital and Anwar Khan Medical College Hospital - to the government, to be used for treating coronavirus patients alone.

He said private hospitals can provide support in sample collection and testing, since more test facilities are urgently needed to ensure quick confirmation of Covid-19 cases.

Khan also said:“If necessary, we will provide 7 more private hospitals to the government for Covid-19 treatment only.” 

He added that most private medical hospitals have prepared isolation centres for Covid-19 suspects, and were referring patients with practically confirmed symptoms to dedicated government run hospitals.

Coronavirus has so far infected 1,012 people and killed 46 people in Bangladesh.

Globally, the disease has infected 1,936,700 people and killed 120,568 people thus far.

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