The Financial Express

Bangladesh to begin antigen tests for coronavirus on Saturday

| Updated: December 03, 2020 19:33:09

Evaly and Fianancial Express Evaly and Fianancial Express
Covid-19: Antigen tests in Bangladesh from Saturday

Bangladesh is introducing antigen tests for the diagnosis of novel coronavirus infection on Saturday, two and half months after approving the guidelines on the tests.

For the launch, the government has picked 10 districts where there is no RT-PCR testing facility, said Meerjady Sabrina Flora, additional director general of health services.   

As many as 30 doctors and medical technologists have been trained in Dhaka to conduct the tests and they are returning to the districts on Thursday, Sabrina said on Wednesday.

The 10 districts are Gaibandha, Munshiganj, Panchagarh, Madaripur, Brahmanbaria, Jashore, Meherpur, Sylhet, Joypurhat and Patuakhali.

Antigen tests will be launched in other districts gradually Sabrina said.

Initially, the tests will be available for patients who have COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, respiratory distress, weakness, and loss of tasting and smelling powers, for five to seven days.

In line with the guidelines, those with negative results from rapid antigen tests will have to undergo RT-PCR tests. 

Until now, only the RT-PCR tests have been conducted in authorised laboratories since the first coronavirus cases were detected in the country in March.

But the delay in getting the results in this process has hampered efforts to treat patients and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The antigen-based rapid tests will speed up the testing process, as the results are available within half an hour.

Swab samples from nose or throat are needed in both processes, reports bdnews24.com.

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