As the COVID-19 pandemic puts an enormous strain on world public health infrastructures, public health professionals face a challenge unprecedented since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. Scientists from around the globe has responded with openness and unparalleled speed, investigating the SARS-CoV-2 virus aiming at developing new diagnostic technologies, treatments, and tools for researchers. Researchers at Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives (ideSHi) are contributing to this global effort in fighting the pandemic.
Working in partnership with Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and icddr,b, the Infectious diseases laboratory at ideSHi has begun processing COVID-19 test samples from patients across Bangladesh. Since March 21, 2020, ideSHi has been testing for COVID-19 returning its first batch of results back to IEDCR within 4.5 hours of receiving samples.
Dr. Firdausi Qadri, the chairperson of ideSHi, talked about how she and her team halted all other work at the infectious diseases laboratory and quickly scaled the facility to enable testing of approximately 500 samples per day.