The maiden private sector laboratory for testing Covid-19 in the country has been inaugurated at US-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Rupganj, Narayanganj.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malik inaugurated the lab "Gazi Covid-19 Real Time PCR Test Lab" through a video conferencing on Wednesday.
Textile and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi and his business corporation Gazi Group have funded the lab, while real-estate company Bestway has contributed the building for setting up it.
Minster Zahid Malik said, "We started with just one lab and now there are 22 labs."
"Also, there was no arrangement for proper treatment of Covid-19 patients in the country even a month ago but now we have set up 110 hospitals across the country", he continued, "We have also arranged personal protective equipment and distributing around 50 thousand pieces of PPE every day."
Praising the initiative to set up the lab in Narayanganj, Malik said, "Narayanganj is a coronavirus hotspot and the setting up of this PCR lab is therefore is very crucial."
"This lab has enhanced our capacity to identify coronavirus patients, which will help to reduce infections and save many lives," he added.
On April 16, US-Bangla Medical College Hospital got permission from the government to collect and test samples for Covid-19.
"This is the first lab in Narayanganj. From now on, patients here will be able to test for Covid-19 in this lab rapidly for free of cost", said Dastagir Gazi.
While talking over a video call, he also said although Narayanganj has become a coronavirus hot zone, it was dependent on Dhaka for testing.
"From the thought that Narayanganj should also have testing facilities, we started setting up this lab with the help of Gazi Group," added Dastagir.
The health minister then thanked Golam Dastagir Gazi and Gazi Group, and called upon other private institutions to come forward in this crisis moment.
Replying a query, Dastagir said, "The machine used in this PCR lab has been imported from China. But it is a US standard laboratory facility."
The jute minister went on to say, "We (Bangladesh) are still in a much better position than all other countries of the world with respect to the coronavirus thanks to the dedicated efforts made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."