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Dhaka
September 19, 2020
Foreign Affairs Opinion

Testing done right

Testing done right

While it may be tempting to roll out these testing kits immediately, some caution and sense must be exercised

Amidst the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, the only way to get the best possible picture about the state of any nation is widespread testing. 

To that end, the rapid test kit developed by Gonoshasthaya Kendra, with which the novel coronavirus infection can be detected in 15 minutes, was set to be the breakthrough Bangladesh needed to conduct more mass testing. 

However, we have already seen hastily rolled out testing kits not being sufficiently accurate; India recently cancelled orders of Chinese rapid testing kits, which have been seen to have very low accuracy. 

Therefore, while it may be tempting to roll out these testing kits developed by Gonoshasthaya Kendra immediately, especially given the urgency of the situation, some caution and sense must be exercised. 

Indeed, there is no use of a testing kit which is faulty and unreliable; we must learn from the mistakes that countries such as China have made in developing their own kits, and ensure that, when Bangladeshi test kits do indeed receive the green light on mass production, they are safe and reliable to use. 

However, what must be mentioned is that, while ensuring the reliability of the testing kits is indeed important, this is not the time for organizations looking for medical breakthroughs to navigate through bureaucratic systems. During such times of crisis, authorities should be looking to accelerate and encourage innovation. 

Yes, all medical products rightfully must be tested first to ensure safety for the people at large, but the procedure to get approval must be made as efficient as possible. 

Therefore, the approval procedure of the rapid testing kits developed by Gonoshasthaya Kendra must be handled efficiently, without any unnecessary delays.

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