Lower testing to constrain virus control, warn experts

Lower testing will provide a misleading picture of coronavirus transmission in the country while making it difficult to take proper control measures, health experts warn.

Although more than 150 days have elapsed since the first case was detected on March 08 last and more than three months into the community transmission, the authorities have eased movement restrictions and overlooked contact tracing, institutional isolation needed to flatten the curve, thus deepening pubic fear about how long the pandemic will ravage the country, they said.

In contrast, the state-run Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) is blaming the people’s reluctance to test and lack of awareness about the current situation.

In the last meeting of National Technical Advisory Committee, experts suggested ramping up tests up to 24,286 per day or weekly one person per 1,000 population. The number of tests is scientifically calculated to understand the infection situation in a country of 170 million.

2,874 people have so far died from the coronavirus in the country since March 18.

With a total of 221,178 cases reported since March 8, Bangladesh is now the sixth worst-hit country in Asia, according to information available with Worldometer, an information portal.

India has topped the regional list with over 1.3 million cases so far, followed by Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

In terms of global scenario, Bangladesh is the 17th hardest-hit nation, followed by Turkey (224,252) and Columbia (233,541) till filing of this report around 6.00pm on Saturday.

More than 0.64 million people died from coronavirus with 15.9 million infection cases across the globe.

:The Financial Express