• Thursday, Dec 08, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

A test we need to pass

  • Published at 02:27 pm April 3rd, 2020
Coronavirus test
Photo: Bigstock

When it comes to the testing process, we cannot afford any deficiencies

It is difficult to fight an invisible enemy, and even more so when we do not take the necessary steps to understand the extent to which it has infiltrated our nation.

The coronavirus is one such enemy but, unfortunately, when it comes to the rate of testing, Bangladesh has done poorly so far, and has ranked the lowest in the world.  

In the fight against the coronavirus, experts have repeatedly said that the pandemic cannot be stopped if not enough tests are done, something this newspaper too has editorialized and urged the authorities to do in the recent past.

With 56 confirmed cases and six dead, Bangladesh not only has the highest death rate in South Asia, these numbers do not even begin to give us a clear picture of the situation with the test rate so low.

Our testing rate is a mere 60-70 per day, totalling at around 1,900, whereas other countries have been carrying out thousands of tests every single day.

When we have a pandemic that has essentially brought the entire world to its knees, it is negligent of us to not do everything in our power to ensure the wellbeing of this nation and its citizens and protect them from the spread of the coronavirus.

The authorities have, of course, taken various steps which are commendable, having enforced a strict lockdown, distributing personal protective equipment to hospitals, and setting up a Covid-19 detecting machine in Rangpur Medical College, with plans to expand testing facilities across the country.

But when, and to what extent? With a population of over 160 million, the existence of a single machine so far -- which has the capacity to test only 90 people every day -- in a single district will do little to improve the situation.

When it comes to the testing process, we cannot afford any deficiencies or indulge in any sort of delay.

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