DGHS asks DU to be ready to test Covid-19
A month after writing to the health ministry stating their capacity to run coronavirus tests, Dhaka University authorities heard back from the authorities yesterday.
"The Directorate General of Health Services, in a letter today, asked us to take necessary steps for testing coronavirus," convener of the committee Prof Sharif Akhteruzzaman told The Daily Star yesterday afternoon.
Earlier, a technical committee of the university -- formed to take steps in this regard in line with national committee -- on March 29 issued a letter to the health ministry saying the university has the capacity to manufacture testing kits and conducting tests.
Talking to The Daily Star on Sunday, Prof Mamun Ahmed, another member of the technical committee, had expressed his frustration over the silence from the authorities in response to DU's offer for a month. "So far, no response was received from the government. Given the situation, we have said on our own volition that we want to cooperate with the government. What can we do if the government does not want our cooperation?" he had said.
"I have written on behalf of Dhaka University to help the government in this situation. There were three matters. Firstly, we want to use the testing and research opportunities we have. Secondly, we have technical manpower and expertises in this field. Our experts are ready to train others for testing. Thirdly, we have said that we have the skills and qualifications to manufacture a large quantity of kits at low cost. We made these specific proposals to the government."
Prof Mamun yesterday told this newspaper that the technical committee was preparing to hold a meeting to decide their course of action regarding the letter from DGHS.
Abul Kalam Azad, director general of DGHS, yesterday told The Daily Star that they are expanding their testing capacity, and involving Dhaka University for conducting tests is a part of that.