Coronavirus (COVID-19) test is expected to start from April 1 (Wednesday) here as installation works of a separate regional laboratory is progressing fast creating a high hope among all concerned.
The laboratory is being installed at the Department of Virology in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) as the machine for Polymerase Chain Reaction testing, widely known as PCR, has already been reached here from Dhaka.
Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, Fazley Hossain Badsha, MP, RMCH Director Brig Gen Jamilur Rahman, Principal of Rajshahi Medical College Prof Dr Nawshad Ali and RCC Chief Engineer Ashraful Haque visited the installation site yesterday afternoon to see for themselves the progress.
"We are hoping for starting the test upon successful completion of the preparatory works and arrival of the technologists by Wednesday," said Mayor Liton.
He said various other need-based measures have been taken to reinforce the RMCH aimed at preventing the coronavirus outbreak in the region.
The RMCH's 30 Number Ward is being prepared for the treatment of the infected patients. Around 200 patients can be given treatment in the ward simultaneously.
He said there are some additional advantages like 16 ICU and eight HDU beds in the ward which will be very much helpful to cope with any emergency situation.
Prof Sabera Gulnahar, Head of the Department of Virology, said installation works of the laboratory is progressing fast. Besides, need-based works for imparting training to doctors, nurses, paramedics and other requisite manpower are going-on.
Illustrating aspects of the laboratory and its activities, she said necessary kits and chemicals for testing the virus is likely to reach here from Dhaka within next two days. "We are very much hopeful about starting the testing works by Wednesday," she hoped.
She clarified that the laboratory will be able to test COVID-19 with samples of throat swabs and blood and provide results within a day through using the machine.
In addition to the PCR machine, RMCH Director Jamilur Rahman the hospital received a fresh supply of 1000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), 1000 masks, 1000 hand-gloves and enough sanitisers for the doctors, nurses and other paramedics.
"We will be very much advantageous as coronavirus testing kits would be made available to the laboratory," he added.