A new coronavirus testing lab is being set up in Chattogram at Chittagong Medical College. All the equipment, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines, arrived from Dhaka on Monday.
Earlier, the only coronavirus testing lab in Chattogram was at the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID) Hospital.
One hundred samples are tested every day on two PCR machines at the BITID lab. But in Chattogram, 200 samples are being collected daily.
The construction of the infrastructure in a room of the microbiology department has been completed for the new lab. Though the equipment arrived, due to the absence of technicians, the setting up has not started yet.
Chittagong Medical College Principal Dr Shamim Hasan said, "We have got some corona testing kits along with a PCR machine. Our lab will be capable of testing 50 to 60 samples per day. The technicians still haven't arrived. However, we have continued communication. Hopefully, the lab will be open in a few days."
Meanwhile, a committee has been formed to conduct coronavirus testing activities. Zillur Rahman, convener of the committee and professor of the pathology department, said a technician team is expected to arrive from Dhaka on Monday night.
"When they arrive, work will begin. I expect the lab to be ready in five to seven days," he said.
Chittagong Civil Surgeon Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi said in order to cope with the situation, it was important to start a second lab.