Abu Taher Bappa

2020-05-29 00:32:24 BdST

BD lowest in Covid-19 testing in South Asia

Although the Covid-19 infection rate has kept rising recently, Bangladesh still is not conducting enough tests. It is only ahead of Afghanistan among the South Asian countries with just 1,676 tests per million people.

The country has recorded the highest single-day Covid-19 cases as 2,029 more people tested positive, and the number of total cases reached 40,321.

The new cases were found after testing 9,310 samples in the last 24 hours ending at 8am on Thursday.

Fifteen more Covid-19 patients died, taking the death toll from the deadly virus to 559, said Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

It seems that after Eid holidays, the speed of Covid-19 sample test has increased as the figure was lower since May 23.

According to DGHS's data, Bangladesh has conducted the highest 10,834 sample tests on May 23, on the first day of the Eid-ul- Fitr vacation.

Still, Bangladesh is lying at the bottom among the South Asian nations in conducting tests against per million people.

The number of tests against per million people in Bangladesh is only 1,676 and the country is just one step ahead of Afghanistan, which could conduct only 899 people in each million.

The Maldives and Bhutan are on the top of the table with each conducting 21,822 tests per million of people.

Health experts urged the authorities to increase the tests as the government has eased restrictions on people's movement.

They said the infection rate will increase further as the people had attended social gatherings during Eid festival. 

Dr Sultana said that they are trying to conduct more tests every day.

"We have plans to increase the daily tests. As part of this plan, we are adding new labs to the fleet," she added.  

Meanwhile, during a Covid-19 daily briefing, Dr Sultana said that among the newly recorded deaths, 11 are males and four females. Of them, seven are from Dhaka division and eight from Chattogram.

"Some 500 patients have recovered from the virus during this time, increasing the number of total cured patients to 8,420," she said.

Nasima Sultana said, "The authorities placed 248 new individuals suspected of having Covid-19 infection into isolation, bringing the total number of suspects to 4,984."

Moreover, there are 13,264 isolation units available in the country, including 7,250 in Dhaka city. The country has 399 ICU facilities and 106 dialysis beds available for the coronavirus patients.

The virus has so far killed 357,516 people globally, and infected 5,794,330.

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