Saturday, 28 May, 2022
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People struggling to have corona test

People struggling to have corona test

General people are suffering immensely for having coronavirus test in many public hospitals across the country, including in the capital, depriving them of timely treatment.

“I have been trying to be listed for two days to test coronavirus at Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital. I have been repeatedly trying to reach over the designated mobile number and visited physically but I couldn’t be listed for the test here,” RunaAkter, 25, a pregnant woman, told the Daily Sun on Tuesday.

While talking to the Daily Sun correspondent at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital corridor at 9:30am on the day, RunaKhatunand her mother were seen repeatedly trying to reach the designated number of the hospital to be listed over phone for corona test.

RunaAkter, wife of a private car driver, who hailed from the city’s Dhaka Uddyan area of Mohammadpur, said her doctor has advised her to carry out corona test as only around a month is left to give birth of her child.

Talking to the Daily Sun, Karim Sheikh, hailed from Mirpur section 2 of the capital, said his eye doctor has advised him to carry out corona test as he will undergo ophthalmology surgery at the National Institute of Ophthalmology at Sher-e-Banglanagar in the city.

“I have been coming to theSuhrawardy hospital for the last three days and have been trying to be listed over phone to have corona test but I couldn’t be listed yet for the test,” he added.

While visiting SuhrawardyMedical College Hospital from 9:00am to 12:00 noon, it was seen that around 30-40 people were trying to be listed over phone and also asking   a number of staff about the process to be listed for corona list.

However, during the visit, two help desks of the hospital were seen closed as people were moving here and there and got frustrated getting no exact information.

However, only two to three A4 size paper printed with information about the process to be listed in the hospital corridor said the corona test seekers can be listed through calling at a mobile number only between 9:00am to 10:00am.

Like many other people, this correspondent also tried several times to reach the mobile number during the time but it was showing busy.

According to the hospital authority, if anyone wants to test corona at the Suhrawardy hospital, the person has to be listed through calling at 01842173552 from 9:00am to 10:00am everyday, except holidays.

If anyone is lucky to get listed, then the person have to deposit Tk 100 at the hospital cash counter and then the test seeker can give sample at the designated sample collection booth of the hospital.

“We have only one RT PCR machine to conduct the coronavirus test. We list and take number of sample as per our everyday capacity as we can test only around 95 samples in a day,” Dr MdKhalilurRahman, director of ShaheedSuhrawardy Medical College Hospital, told the Daily Sun.

He further said the hospital has only eight staff, including medical technologists, to run the coronavirus test activities while six of them have tested Covid-19 positive and are staying at home. “It has become very much difficult to run the test activities with the existing manpower,” the hospital chief said.

According to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), there are a total of 860 corona test labs -- 155 RT PCR labs (56 government and 99 private), 57 GeneXpert (54 government and three private) and 648 Rapid Antigen (545 government and 103 private) across the country, including in Dhaka city.

The data said there are around 90 RT PCR labs for corona test in Dhaka and its adjacent areas while around 20 of them are situated in government and autonomous institutes of hospitals.

Talking to the Daily Sun, some people said amid the fresh surge of the coronavirus infection in the country, people have become hopeless due to difficult process of corona test in public hospitals.

They said though the rich people can easily test coronavirus in private hospitals spending a big amount, low-income people are not easily getting the service in public hospitals.

“The government should increase the corona test capacity in public hospitals and also carry out publicity to inform general people about the nearest corona test labs,” Dr Nazrul Islam, member of Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told the Daily Sun.

The health experts has been repeatedly putting emphasis on increasing the coronavirus test in the country in a bid to isolate the patients immediately but existing capacity cannot test adequate samples every day.

“There is no alternative to increasing corona test capacity in the country. The government should test and isolate patients immediately in a bid to contain spreading the virus transmission,” Dr Nazrul Islam, also former Vice-Chancellor of BSMMU, said.

Asked about the coronavirus test, Dr MdFaridHossainMiah told the Daily Sun that the existing government and private corona test labs, including RT PCR and Rapid Antigen, have capacity to test around 60,000 a day.

He further said the Rapid Antigen testing facility is available in all upazila health complexes and district hospitals but the RT PCR test labs exist in Institutes, Medical College Hospitals and other tertiary level hospitals only in the country.

“The number of corona test labs has been increasing day by day. It will increase more in the next,” the DGHS official added.