When the Covid-19 infection rate in the country is apparently on the rise, the scope of testing has decreased.
During the 24 hours till 8 am on Friday, 14,650 samples were tested, which was the lowest number of single-day tests done in the last 12 days.
At that time, 3,114 Covid-19 positive patients were identified, which is the lowest number of cases detected in a single day in the last 17 days.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), labs across the country tested more than 15,000 samples (15,965) for the first time on June 10.
Since then, the number of tests has fluctuated between 15,000 and 18,000 per day. On June 26, the highest 18,498 samples were tested in a single day.
However, the reported number of samples tested per day suddenly dropped below 15,000 on Friday.
Dr Rizwanul Karim, joint secretary general of DGHS Covid-19 Control Room, told The Business Standard that the number of tests has reduced due to the imposition of testing fee at the government institutions and a change in the discharge criteria from the hospitals.
At present, people who do not have any symptoms are not being tested.
Dr Rizwanul said, "According to the World Health Organisation's new discharge criteria, a patient can now be discharged from the hospital if he does not show any symptoms such as fever and cough for three consecutive days without taking any medication. A second test is not required for him, but he will stay at home in isolation for 14 days."
"Asymptomatic patients will be considered free of Covid-19 ten days after they test positive for the virus. There is no need for the second test. So, the number of tests has decreased," Dr Rizwanul Karim added.
Death toll close to 2,000
Some 42 people have died from coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general of DGHS, said during a virtual briefing.
The death toll now stands at 1,968 and the death rate at 1.26 percent. And the number of total infections stood at 156,391.
"Some 32 of the deceased patients were men and 10 were women. Of them, 18 were from Dhaka, 10 were from Chattogram, three each were from Rajshahi and Khulna, four were from Rangpur, three from Sylhet and one from Barishal," said Professor Dr Nasima Sultana.
"Some 31 patients died at different hospitals, and 11 died at their respective homes," Dr Nasima Sultana added.
In the meantime, 1,606 patients have recovered from the viral disease, taking the number of total recovery cases to 68,048.
According to the latest data from the DGHS, 43.51 percent of novel coronavirus patients have recovered and 1.26 percent died.
The latest day's infection rate among positive cases was 21.26 percent, though the rate among all samples tested in the country till date counts 19.06 percent.
Nasima Sultana said, "The authorities placed 877 new individuals suspected of having Covid-19 into isolation, bringing the total to 15,947 after 13432 left."