Govt to begin antigen test for corona

Staff Correspondent

15 October, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The government will introduce antigen tests soon to detect the presence of certain viral proteins from the novel coronavirus in nasal and pharyngeal mucus of patients.

Director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Professor Dr ABM Khurshid Alam on Wednesday said they are hoping to receive around 200,000 antigen testing kits soon.

 “We already have collected more 200,000 testing kits through Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD). We will get these kits within one or two days. Besides, UNFPA has assured us to provide one million antigen testing kits,” Professor Dr Alam said.

Initially, the government will prioritize the districts which don’t have RTPCR labs. And these kits will be used to test the patients who will come to receive treatment in different government hospitals.

“Now the patients don’t get their Covid-19 test report within a week. When they will get test result within a few hours they would be able to leave hospitals quickly.

Staying at hospitals for long increase their risk,” Dr ABM Khurshid Alam added.

The government is thinking to allow the private hospitals to do antigen test. It has not fixed a fee for this test yet. But the DGHS director-general stated that it will not be more expensive than the fees fixed for RT-PCR test.

The coronavirus test report can be found within a short period through antigen tests albeit Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is still considered as the most reliable way for detecting Covid-19 patients.

Govt will not pay Cinovec for vaccine trial: Bangladesh government will not spend any money on Chinese company Cinovec’s vaccine trial though it will allow the company to conduct the trial in the country.

The secretary of the Health Services Division under the Ministry of Health, Md Abdul Mannan, has said that the government hasn’t decided to co-fund the trial of Cinovec.

Md Abdul Mannan said still there is enough possibility of Cinovec’s vaccine trial in Bangladesh as the company has told that if they don’t get money from the government they will need more time, but they will conduct the trial.

Cinovec wrote a letter to the Health Minister Zahid Maleque on September 22 requesting the Bangladesh government to co-fund their vaccine trial. It also mentioned that they are going through an ‘economic crisis’ due to the late approval of the Bangladesh government.