The kiosks will take only five minutes to collect a sample from a person with COVID-19 symptoms, which will then sent to a government-authorised laboratory for testing.
The initiative, supported by the UK-based Department for International Development, will be operated under the supervision of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Initially, about 100 walk-in testing kiosks will be installed across 19 areas marked as coronavirus hotspots, including Dhaka and Narayanganj.
“Of them, 45 booths will be installed in Dhaka. We have received the approval of the two mayors of Dhaka and the process of selecting the installation points is now underway,” Morseda Chowdhury, associate director of BRAC’s Health, Nutrition and Population Programme, told bdnews24.com.
“We have initially identified the areas that have been affected the most such as Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Chattogram and Mymensingh. We will gradually place more booths depending on the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Morseda said.
BRAC is also training medical technologists across the country to collect swab samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms.
Bangladesh is currently conducting more than 6,000 tests a day but the target is increase the number to 10,000. BRAC is providing support to the government in collecting samples, according to DGHS Additional Director General Nasima Sultana.