Month-long wait for getting tested! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 31, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:28 AM, May 31, 2020

Month-long wait for getting tested!

The authorities in Savar upazila of Dhaka started asking the city dwellers to wait from a few weeks to even a month before being tested for coronavirus after showing symptoms.

Ready-made garment worker Anisur Rahman, 22, is one of many who faced the crisis.

He went to Savar Upazila Health Complex on Thursday to give samples as he had multiple symptoms of Covid-19. The authorities there wrote his name and other information on a list and asked him to visit them again on June 30.

"I have fever and cough now… What will be the use of going for a test after a month?" Anisur said.

Frustrated, he returned home and consulted a local doctor who prescribed him medicines that physicians are using to treat Covid-19 patients, he said.

"I'm taking the medicine but I'm not sure whether I have Covid-19 infection," he added.

Like Anisur, many people in Savar have been asked by the Upazila Health Complex authorities to wait a couple of weeks or a month to go for Covid-19 test.

Authorities say they have no option left as a huge number of patients are turning up daily, but the authorities have a limited capacity.

People have to queue at Savar Adhar Chandra Govt High School, near the health complex, to enlist their names and other information first. The authorities there later ask them to go for tests on specified dates to give samples.

Only 10 from the queue can directly go for test daily, officials said.

Visiting the school compound yesterday, this correspondent found another garment worker Soni Rahman who has been coming to the school since May 18 to have his wife tested for Covid-19 as she has been showing symptoms.

His wife's name was included in the list yesterday but he did not know when she could go for test as authorities could not give a specific date.

Thirty-two year old Roni Ahmed said that he went there to get tested on May 27 with high fever.

"They asked me to give samples on June 27 for Covid-19 test… I am very sick. Who will take the responsibility if I die by then?" he said.

Roni said he called the IEDCR hotline number, after failing to get tested, but they only gave him a number of the upazila health complex.

"They did not say anything… What should I do in this situation?" he asked.

RMG worker Ruma Akter has had fever for 15 days but she is doing well now. Her employers have asked her not to join work unless she can show a Covid-19 test report.

She also lined up for test but the hospital authorities asked her to visit the health complex one and a half month later, Ruma said.

Contacted, Dr Saemul Huda, upazila Health and Family planning officer, said they have the capacity to collect 60 samples daily.

Savar is an overpopulated area and many are coming daily to get tested. That's why they are maintaining a serial, he said, adding it would be better if they could collect 500 samples a day.

The doctor said they have already consulted with local garment factory owners and another PCR lab will be set up soon to test workers.

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