Testing capacity and the number of samples being tested in a single day for Covid-19 infection are heading towards the opposite direction after four months since the country reported the maiden cases.
The daily test tally is on a gradual fall while more and more testing facilities are adding up to the number.
The country conducted the highest number of tests on June 26 last -- 18,498 samples in 66 laboratories across the country. After 14 days, now the number of laboratories stands at 77.
However, Bangladesh tested only 13,488 samples in the last 24 hours until Friday and reported 2,949 new cases with 37 deaths.
When contacted, Additional Director General of health directorate Prof Dr Nasima Sultana told The Business Standard that their latest protocol on conducting the second test might have lowered the number of total tests.
"We tell patients who are recovering that the second test is not necessary if they do not have the symptoms any longer. Therefore, people are not coming for the second test and this is one of the reasons," she said.
Prof Nasima claimed previously many people used to gave samples to multiple testing facilities. "We have stopped this. An individual will give samples only to a single laboratory," she explained the second reason she believed had lessened the total number of tests.
However, health experts expressed concern as the number of tests is falling gradually when it was supposed to go up.
Professor Muzaherul Haque, a former advisor of the World Health Organization (WHO), said sluggish testing may give a wrong picture of infection and hamper the process of isolating the positive cases.
He said, "Due to a poor number of tests, many positive and untested cases will remain out of identification, and they will spread the virus severely. If we fail to trace and isolate the positive cases, the pandemic consequences will not spare us in upcoming days."
He reiterated his stance for more tests, contact tracing and isolating the infected.
With the new cases reported on Friday, the number of total infections stood at 178,443 with 2,275 died from the virus infection.
"Among the 37 patients who died in 24 hours until Friday, 29 were men and eight were women. Of them, 12 were from Dhaka, 17 were from Chattogram, two each from Rajshahi, Sylhet and Rangpur, one each from Barishal and Mymensingh," said Prof Dr Nasima Sultana at the daily press briefing.
The gender-wise analysis of the victims shows that the male morality rate is 79.08 percent while mortality among female stands at 20.92 percent.
In the meantime, Dhaka division tops in death rate -- 50.11 percent, while Chattogram stands second with 26.46 percent death.
Till date, around 48.42 percent of the patients – both symptomatic and asymptomatic – have recovered while 1.27 percent died.
The infection rate of the total tests stands at 21.86 percent in 24 hours until Friday, while the overall infection rate till date is 19.43 percent.