An unwavering commitment | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 30, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:49 AM, May 30, 2020

An unwavering commitment

Covid-positive BITID lab chief awaits recovery

In isolation, all Prof Dr Shakeel Ahmed thinks about is rejoining the fight against Covid-19. At the same time, he has also made sure that the work continues during his absence.

The in-charge of BITID Covid-19 testing lab in Chattogram himself tested positive on May 26.

"I will be available over the phone and will guide them with necessary instructions," he told this correspondent.

He had not been feeling well since May 23. But with the number of samples increasing every day in Chattogram, Dr Shakeel powered through it and continued.

On May 26, he decided to test his own sample and found the result positive.

Still, he decided not to leave the workplace immediately as he was working on 331 samples on that day. "I wanted to finish my pending work; many patients were eagerly waiting for their reports for three to four days," he told The Daily Star.

"By afternoon, I came to know that I was Covid-19 positive but I worked till 11pm to complete pending work," he said.

Of the 331 samples, a total of 51 showed positive for Covid-19 that day.

"I prepared test reports, signed those and then left the lab to go into isolation," he said, adding, "I even signed my own report that showed Covid-19 positive."

Asked about the safety of other doctors and assistants in the laboratory, Prof Shakeel said he was not infected there. "I was infected by a patient at BITID hospital," he said.

"As I have to work around 14 hours everyday, I have to go outside the lab. The hospital compound is overcrowded with patients; many of them do not even use face masks."

"In the lab, we all use PPE and there is a slim chance of contamination," he said. "Please pray for me so that I can rejoin the battle against Covid-19 soon."

BITID is the first institution in Chattogram where Covid-19 test was introduced on March 25 under the leadership of Prof Shakeel.

All the samples from at least six districts under Chattogram division were tested in the laboratory until tests were introduced in more institutions in the division.

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