The government has given permission to icddrb,b and 77 other private hospitals in the country to conduct rapid antigen test for detection of coronavirus infection in human body.
Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said the authority has fixed Tk 700 for coronavirus test in rapid antigen method in the private hospitals and diagnostics centres.“We have given 78 private health facilities to carry out rapid antigen test,” Dr. Md. Farid Hossain Miah, Director (Hospital) of the DGHS told the Daily Sun.
The DGHS issued a notice in this regard on July 18. “The rapid antigen test also will be available at International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) in Mohakhali of the capital,” it added.
According to the notice, if sample is collected from home of the suspected patients, they have to pay additional Tk 500.
The rapid antigen test will be applicable to people with symptoms of Covid-19 (cold, cough, shortness of breath, headache, breathing problem, bad taste in mouth, diarrhea, etc.) and people who have direct contact with Covid-19 positive patient in the last 10 days, it said.
DGHS sources said the rapid antigen testing is being conducted at 447 government hospitals across the country. The cost of rapid antigen test in public laboratories costs Tk 100 each.
On June 1 this year, the DGHS sent a letter to the Health Services Division of the health ministry, detailing the cost and other issues regarding the rapid antigen test. The DGHS letter said the rapid antigen testing should be introduced along with the ongoing RT-PCR testing in private hospitals during the pandemic.On September 17 last year, the government permitted antigen-based rapid testing at public healthcare centres to scale up the testing facilities.
In the rapid antigen testing, a suspected patient will get the result within 30 minutes after the collection of samples.