Bordering Districts: Free Covid test for the poor for 3 months | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 12, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:55 PM, June 12, 2021

Bordering Districts: Free Covid test for the poor for 3 months

The health ministry asked its officials in certain districts along the border to test the poor people for coronavirus for free.

The decision is aimed at increasing the number of daily tests in the districts where the positivity rates are higher than the rest of the country.

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Officials have also been instructed to supply medical equipment and human resources in those highly affected districts.

"We asked civil surgeons at the bordering districts to make Covid-19 tests free for the poor people over the next three months," Health Minister Zahid Maleque told The Daily Star.

He added that additional medicines, oxygen concentrators, and beds will be sent to the highly infected areas.

Currently, Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon, Satkhira, Khulna, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Joypurhat and some other districts are witnessing a surge in daily new cases.

In many of those districts the positivity rate is above 20 percent while the country's overall positivity rate is 13.39 percent.

Hospitals are at capacity in some of those districts amid shortages of oxygen support and other equipment.

"We started sending additional oxygen concentrators, beds, medicines and hi-flow nasal cannula to the highly affected districts and we have also asked officials to let us know what they need," said Farid Hossain Miah, director (hospitals and clinics) at the Directorate General of Health Services.

The minister said since transport workers travel across the country, testing has been made free for them, and they will travel with a covid-negative certificate. Those tests will be  antigen rapid tests.

Sheikh Md Hasan Imam, director (admin) at the DGHS, said doctors from various districts were sent in the affected region to run the hospitals, but 20 doctors were sent back to their concerned stations.

Rajshai division has already attached 66 doctors in the districts to tackle the situation, he said.

"We have 100 doctors for the highly affected areas. We will send them where they are needed," he added.

In Satkhira, the positivity rate was 55 percent.

Hussain Shafaat, civil surgeon of Satkhira, said, "We requested for 20 doctors. The DGHS have verbally assured us of sending them. We also need supporting employees."

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