Brac is going to set up 100 walk-in kiosks across 19 risky regions of the country, to expedite the government's initiative of scaling up testing capacity for the novel coronavirus.
Of these, at least 50 will be installed in Dhaka by next week, while fifty more kiosks will be set up across the country soon, the world's top NGO said in a statement yesterday.
Initially, Brac installed kiosks at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital on a pilot basis. Later, more kiosks were set up at Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Memorial KPJ Specialized Hospital & Nursing College, and in Narayanganj, in line with the directive from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
"We have also identified several spots to install kiosks in consultation with two Dhaka city mayors," said Morseda Chowdhury, associate director of Brac's Health, Nutrition and Population Programme in a statement.
As of May 11, she said, 17 kiosks have been installed at 14 spots in Dhaka as per DGHS directive, and work on installing more booths is in progress.
"Brac is yet to receive any new funds in this regard. However, the organisation is diverting some of its funds from the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK government to continue its proceedings," Chowdhury said.
While kiosks set up at hospitals will be operated by respective hospital staff, two trained medical technologists from Brac will collect samples at the kiosks set up elsewhere from suspected Covid-19 patients from 9am to noon Saturday through Thursday.
Once collected, the samples will be sent to testing facilities designated by DGHS, and patients will be informed results via text messages.