Rajshahi Medical College today began testing samples for coronavirus infections using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine installed at the laboratory of its virology department.
The first test began with throat and nasal samples of swabs collected from a patient in the coronavirus unit of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, our Rajshahi correspondent reports quoting microbiologist Sabera Gulnahar, chair of RMC's virology department.
The patient, a 16-year-old boy of Paba upazila, has been kept in isolation at the coronavirus unit since admission four days ago.
"Two specially trained technologists collected the samples and we ran the samples for tests in the machine in the afternoon," Dr Gulnahar who is leading a 30-member team of 18 doctors and 12 technologists at the laboratory, said.
She said samples of four more patients from Bogura were on their way to the laboratory.
RMC health officials will know the results of the tests tomorrow.
RMC got the PCR machine on Thursday as part of the government's initiative to enable facilities across the country to test for Covid-19. Six other medical colleges were provided with the machine.
After receiving the machine, RMC prepared the laboratory maintaining proper biosafety measures for the doctors and technologists, Dr Gulnahar said.
For initial launch of the PCR machine, the college was provided with 240 coronavirus testing kits, the microbiologist said.