With the number of testing facilities tripled from what it was in June-July last year, Bangladesh has seen a much higher number of tests recently.
The country conducted more than 27,000 Covid single-day tests for the third consecutive day Friday.
"Earlier, the number of daily tests had been low due to our low testing capacity," Dr ASM Aamgir, principal scientific officer at the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) told The Business Standard.
"But now we test samples at 224 RT-PCR labs across the country. Besides, we have antigen and genexpert testing arrangements. More than 50,000 people can be tested daily now as per the capacity," he added.
There have been complaints over low test rates since the beginning of the pandemic in the country. Experts have been advocating for at least 20,000 tests per day.
Even during the peak of the infection in June-July last year, the country failed to reach 20,000 tests-a-day mark.
In June-July last year, the country tested the highest 18,498 samples in a single day at around 80 labs. The number of testing facilities has almost tripled to 224 in March this year.
On the rise in test rates, Dr Alamgir said more people came for testing due to the Golden Jubilee of Independence celebration. "On an average, 1,000 tests have been done every day due to the occasion.
"In addition, the testing rate has risen since the infection rate spikes."
The IEDCR scientist said they want people with virus symptoms to test immediately so that coronavirus spread can be tackled.
He said although there was a crisis over importing the kits for testing, there is no shortage now.
"We have enough kits in stock and there is no possibility of a kit shortage to suspend testing."
The country on Friday tested 27,299 samples and diagnosed 3,737 cases – the highest single day count in this year. The infection rate stands 13.69% on Friday, which was 13.26% a day before.
With the latest cases, the infection tally rose to 5,88,132 in the country.
Earlier, the highest number of single-day caseloads was 4,019 on 2 July last year against 18,362 tests. On 26 June last year, 18,498 samples were tested – the highest one-day test until recently.
Professor Nazrul Islam, noted virologist and a member of the national technical advisory committee on the pandemic, told The Business Standard if we can test 25,000 people per day, it means we have a good capacity.
"It must be maintained. More and more people need to be tested, isolated and quarantined as the number of daily caseload spikes," he commented.
In the past 24 hours until Friday morning, Bangladesh reported 33 deaths from the virus, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,830, according to a press release of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Among the latest day's victims, 21 were men and 12 were women.
Of them, 26 of them hailed from Dhaka, six from the Chattogram and one from Rajshahi division. Among the deceased, 32 died in different hospitals across the country while one at home.
Also, 2057 patients were declared free of Covid-19 during the same period, raising the total number of recoveries to 5,31,951 with a 90.45% recovery rate.
The country's maiden cases were reported on 8 March last year and the first death from the virus was reported on 18 March.