COVID-19: Bangladesh has been testing an alarmingly low number of suspects considering its high population.
Only one suspected case is being tested for approximately 100,499 people in Bangladesh, shows the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research (IEDCR) data.
However, experts warned that the pandemic cannot be stopped if not enough COVID-19 tests are conducted, especially since it won’t present a clear picture of the situation.
While Bangladesh tests 10 samples per million population, many countries are testing hundreds of COVID-19 samples per million population, some thousands, and some even 10,000 per million.
On March 16, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press briefing, said: “You cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected. We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspected case.”
However, the data provided by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research (IEDCR), shows Bangladesh has tested 1,602 samples from suspected COVID-19 patients against a total population of over 161 million.
This is about 67 tests a day since regular testing began on March 8, after the first three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the country.
The number is alarmingly low compared to the people in quarantine as well. A total of 60,015 people were quarantined in Bangladesh as of today.
Bangladesh’s neighbor India has also tested 11 in a million, a number close to Bangladesh. It tested 14,514 samples as of March 20. This is about one test for each 94,847 of its entire population.
Pakistan tested 2,519 samples as of March 19. Which is one for every 87,260 people?
On the other hand, South Korea tested 395,194 samples as of 31 March. This country is testing one in every 130 people of its total population.
Meanwhile, the United States, the country which has the highest number of COVID-19 patients as of today, has tested 944,854 so far. About one test for every 350 people.
Russia has tested 143,519 samples as of March 19 (one in 1,017 people).
Italy, the country which has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases, tested 206,886 samples as of March 20, about one out of 292 people.
Germany has tested 167,000 samples from suspected COVID-19 patients as of March 15. This is about one for every 501 people of its entire population.
As of 30 March, a total of 134,946 people have been tested in the United Kingdom. This is about one test per 502 people of its population.