• Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Affordable testing kits will be crucial

  • Published at 01:41 pm March 20th, 2020
Coronavirus mehedi
A man gives hand sanitizer to a girl to make her hand germ free Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Now is the time to act to ensure that these testing kits are available to the public as soon as possible

One of the key obstacles in fighting the novel coronavirus is the testing process, which, at its current state, is an arduous process requiring more than 24 hours for the results. 

However, it is greatly encouraging that Gonoshasthya Kendra have been successful in developing a Rapid Blot Test, a low-cost testing kit that can test for the virus in around 15 minutes. 

With a cost price of only Tk250-300, this new development in testing can go a long way towards ensuring that people all across the nation can have access to the test if they develop symptoms, that too at an affordable rate. 

The government has already approved the test; now is the time to act to ensure that these testing kits are available to the public as soon as possible. 

For this to happen, we cannot allow typical governmental bureaucracy and red tape to hinder the process. For example, the kit requires a particular chemical reagent to be imported from the UK -- we expect the government to do everything in its power so that this is done as soon as possible, without unnecessary delays in the midst. 

Prof Dr Bijon Kumar Sil -- who has had previous experience with developing testing kits for the SARS virus in 2003 -- and has his team have done a terrific job in inventing this new kit for the coronavirus, and it is our duty as a nation to catalyze the process by which the people of this country will have immediate access to tests and treatment. 

The coronavirus has already killed close to 10,000 people across the world. A successful testing kit is one crucial step among many to keep that number down. 

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