Published: 05 Dec 2020, 09:28 am
On Saturday, the government is launching a free antigen test in 10 districts for rapid identification of coronavirus, anticipating the country's second wave of disease.
The government has taken the decision as the temperature began to fall with the arrival of winter, reports media.
The Health and Family Welfare Ministry will roll out the antigen test for people in 10 districts initially. Later, it will be extended in other districts in phases.
“The antigen test will start in 10 districts from tomorrow (Saturday). The antigen test will be available at hospitals without any cost,” Dr Md Habibur Rahman, director (Management Information System) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Daily Sun.
In the first phase, the DGHS will start the test in district hospitals where it is necessary.
“We’ll launch the antigen test in 10 other districts in the next week,” he added.
According to the DGHS, the antigen test will begin at Panchagarh, Gaibandha, Joypurhat, Patuakhali, Meherpur, Munshiganj, Brahmanbaria, Jashore and Madaripur Sadar hospitals, and at Sylhet's Shaheed Shamsuddin Ahmed Hospital.
However, though this government will begin the rapid antigen test to detect infections with coronavirus, it has not yet taken any step to implement the antibody test.
DGHS sources said the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 advised the government to begin antigen and antibody tests alongside the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test at its meeting held on September 17.
At present, coronavirus detection activities are being performed at 118 government and private testing centers across the country, including the capital, via the RT-PCR test system.