People will lose confidence if they have to wait for longer time to get reports
Masud Rana died after suffering from fever and respiratory ailments, symptoms like those of Covid-19 patients.
Three days after his death, it was known that he had no coronavirus infection.
Deputy civil surgeon of Bogura Dr Mostafizur Rahman said Masud died from coronavirus-like symptoms at his village home in Bogura's Shibganj upazila on March 28.
He said they came to know that Masud, who went to his village home from Dhaka a few days earlier, had not been infected with coronavirus on March 30, three days after his death.
The health department collected Masud's sample on March 28 and sent it to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) for coronavirus test.
Mostahidur Rahman, 45, died on March 26 at Khulna Medical College Hospital with coronavirus-liked symptoms.
Dr Shailendranath Biswas, focal point of corona unit at the hospital, said a team from the health department collected his sample on March 26.
The report was delivered on March 27, one day after the patient's death, showing that Mostahidur did not have coronavirus infection, the doctor said.
In many cases, reports of coronavirus tests are found after the death of patients with Covid-19-like symptoms.
Prof Dr Nazrul Islam, former vice-chancellor of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and virologist, told The Business Standard, "It takes three hours to complete coronavirus tests after the sample collection. Reports should be sent within 24 hours."
He said people will lose confidence if they have to wait for longer time to get reports. If it takes longer time to get reports, people remain in fear whether the patients are coronavirus infected or not.
"If patients die before the test reports, their burial take place in a manner similar to the coronavirus victims. That is why, the test reports must be sent fast," he added.
The IEDCR claims it sends test reports within 24 hours. Dr ASM Alamgir, principal scientific officer of IEDCR, told The Business Standard, "We send reports within 24 hours after the tests are done. If wrong email address or mobile phone numbers are provided, then it may take longer time."
Many people collected test reports directly from the IEDCR, he added. "We send the report without any delay if any case is tested positive. We arrange their hospitalisation and isolation after finding them out anyhow, if anyone is not found available on phone."
Bangladesh launched the testing for the virus on January 21 and found the first coronavirus case on March 8.
So far, 1,602 suspects have been tested and of them, 51 found positive for Covid-19.
On average, 22.88 tests were carried out per day since January 21.
Until recently, the tests had been carried out by IEDCR only, which has only one lab with eight machines.
This week the government allowed testing at five more labs.
IEDCR did not find coronavirus infection in five people, including a child, who were admitted to the isolation department at Rangpur Medical College Hospital with Covid-19 like symptoms.
Humayun Kabir, in-charge of isolation department, said on Saturday night Ruhul Amin along with four family members were shifted to Ragnpur Medical College Hospital from Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital.
Their samples were collected on Sunday and sent those to the IEDCR for tests.
Kabir said they received the test reports from IEDCR yesterday that showed the suspects did not have coronavirus infection.
Meanwhile, three suspects who had been admitted to the isolation unit of Gopinathpur IST in Joypurhat with fever, cold, cough and sore throat were found that they had not been infected with coronavirus.
District Civil Surgeon Dr Md Selim Miah said they collected the samples on Saturday and sent those to IEDCR yesterday, showing that the three had no Covid-19 infection.
Health experts said with cases still remaining low in Bangladesh, test results should not take much longer time to be delivered.
In badly affected countries doing hundreds of tests daily, a Covid-19 test may take about four hours once a sample reaches labs.
Sometimes it takes two to four days to get the results due to transportation and other issues in some countries.
In US, getting a result can take two to four days due to issues such as transportation and sample collection.
In UK, government's goal is to get test reports delivered in one to two days amid complaints of reports taking even four days to reach the source.
In Germany, new fully automated PCR test can deliver reports in two hours and a half. But patients still have to wait a couple of days for results, as the samples have first to be sent to the lab by doctors.
In Australia, according to the Federal Health Department, it may take a few days to get the test results in hand.