Antigen Test increased in border areas...

Dhaka, Wednesday   16 June 2021

Antigen Test increased in border areas

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 04:37 PM, 9 June 2021   Updated: 08:15 PM, 9 June 2021

Rapid Antigen Testing; File Photo

Rapid Antigen Testing; File Photo

Rapid Antigen Testing has recently been increased in the country to get faster results of COVID tests. The test has been increased due to the rise in COVID infections in the border areas and the detection of Indian variants. 

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the test was first introduced in December after getting approved for the Rapid Antigen test in October last year. At first, the tests were launched in Gaibandha, Panchagarh, Joypurhat, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Brahmanbaria, Patuakhali, Jashore, Meherpur and Sylhet. Now, most of these tests are being done in the border districts, especially, where the infection is high.

On Tuesday (08-06-2021), more than 19,000 samples were tested in 24 hours – about 2,500 of these were rapid antigen tests. Even a week ago, the number was less than 1000. Rapid antigen testing is now available at 334 locations across the country. So far, a total of 93,360 Rapid Antigens have been tested.

“The rate of infection is much higher in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Naogaon, Sylhet and other south-western and border districts. Therefore, antigen tests have been increased in these areas,” said Dr. ASM Alamgir, Chief Scientific Officer of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

“Antigen testing is also being done at BRAC booths in Dhaka for sample testing. Antigen tests were arranged at five places in Rajshahi on 6 June.”

Currently, most of the country’s Sadar Hospitals and Upazila Health Complex have Antigen Test System, Dr. ASM Alamgir said.

In places where the rate of infection is high, the test is being done mainly in the neighborhood or at home for “screening”. In this case, a kit is used by taking a sample from the nose of someone who has any symptoms that are suspected to be infected, IEDCR’s Chief Scientific Officer said. 

“If the virus is detected, he is no longer asked to do a PCR test. But if the virus is not detected despite having symptoms, samples are sent for further testing. This test detects the presence of a specific viral antigen, which in fact confirms the presence of the virus.”

It is learned that the biggest advantage of this test is that it can give results in a very fast time. The results are available in 20 minutes. Quick detection means quick action can be taken. Also, the cost is very low. Where the PCR test takes at least six hours, the antigen test does not require much time. With a little training, a health worker can test the sample with a finger-shaped kit and the necessary solutions.