Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, on Tuesday demanded the quick revelation of the results of the performance study of coronavirus’ Rapid Dot Blot kit developed by Gonoshasthaya Kendra.
In a statement, Dr Kamal, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other top leaders of the alliance made the demand.
“We can surely say that Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury has greatly increased the risk of getting infected with coronavirus as he worked hard for the corona detection kit. It’s very unfortunate that the government has not yet allowed the kit to come to the market by creating barriers at every step,” they observed.
As the coronavirus has been spreading fast in society, the Oikyafront leaders said Gonoshasthaya Kendra’s kit could have helped people immensely to detect the virus amid the extreme inadequacy of government tests. “We strongly demand that the results of the performance study of the kit be disclosed as soon as possible and a decision be taken immediately about its use."
They also expressed concern as Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury was reportedly diagnosed with coronavirus.
The Oikyafront leaders wished him a speedy recovery. “Oikyafront will be with him (Zafrullah) in all his needs as in the past. “We hope, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury's illness will end with mild symptoms.”
They also hoped that Zafrullah’s condition will not turn critical though he is an elderly person with underlying health condition.
The alliance leader urged the government to get ready to in advance to provide Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder with the best treatment at the best hospital if his condition deteriorates. “A heroic freedom fighter and a man who has worked for the country with all his strength deserves this from the state.”
The other signatories to the statement include Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) president ASM Abdur Rob, BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Gonoforum general secretary Dr Reza Kibriya, and Bikolpa Dhara Bangladesh’s Prof Nurul Amin Bepari.
Earlier on Monday, Dr Zafrullah said he was tasted with Rapid Dot Blot kit developed by Gonoshasthaya Kendra at its laboratory on Sunday and found positive for the virus.
He said he is currently in isolation in a separate room at his Dhanmondi residence.
Meanwhile, Gonoshasthaya Kendra postponed its plan to collect samples of 50 patients for the test with GR Covid-19 kit at the request of Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA)
Earlier on Wednesday, Gonoshasthaya Kendra submitted 200 samples of Rapid Dot Blot kits, devolved by the organisation for coronavirus test, to the authorities of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) to conduct the performance study.
Earlier on April 30, the DGDA gave Gonoshasthaya the permission to get its Covid-19 rapid testing kits tested.
The DGDA informed Gonoshasthaya that the performance study of the kits could be done either at the BSMMU or IEDCR.
On May 2, the BSMMU authorities formed a six-member committee to conduct the performance study of the testing kits as the organisation approached the country’s premier medical university.
On April 25, Gonoshasthaya Kendra authorities handed over their testing kits to the BSMMU and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the final approval.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra has developed the “easy, effective and cheap” method to test coronavirus or Covid-19.
Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech Limited, a sister concern of Gonoshasthaya, with the help of experts from Singapore developed the method named ‘Gonoshasthaya Rapid Dot Blot.’
On March 17, Gonoshasthaya Kendra declared that they had developed a testing kit that can examine samples to detect Covid-19 within 15 minutes.