The number of tests conducted to diagnose Covid-19 will be increased to 15,000 per day, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday – as the chief guest at a freshers' reception programme of 5,000 newly-recruited nurses at the Directorate of Nursing and Midwifery in the capital.
"We have increased the number of tests significantly in the last month, and we have identified more Covid-19-positive patients. The more we test, the less the risk of infection. We will raise the testing to 10,000 per day and very soon to 15,000 per day," he said.
"People in Bangladesh are going outside of their homes without any emergency needs. Moreover, the government has asked industries and factories to open on a limited scale. As a result, the infection rate has increased and might grow in the future. However, this increase will not be very harmful as the government has taken the right steps at the right time. Additionally, because of the government's initiatives, both the number of infections and deaths is smaller than that of other countries in the world," he added.
The minister thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for recruiting 5,054 nurses.
"The prime minister has a soft corner for healthcare workers. We submitted a proposal to recruit 2,000 doctors and 6,000 nurses, and she approved it within a day. All these newly-recruited nurses should be grateful to the prime minister and fight against Covid-19 with special care," he said further.
The prime minister has also approved recruiting another 15,000 nurses, midwives and medical technologists, he stated.
Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery Director-General Siddika Akter was present on the occasion as the moderator.
Among others, Health Division Secretary Asadul Islam, Public Administration Secretary Sheikh Yusuf Harun, Health Education Division Secretary Ali Nur, Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad Secretary Iqbal Arsenal, and Bangladesh Medical Association General Secretary Dr Ehteshamul Haque Chowdhury spoke on the occasion as special guests.