Signed my own Covid-19 positive report: BITID chief

The Daily Star May 27, 2020

Prof Dr Shakeel Ahmed, in-charge of Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID), had been feeling unwell since Saturday. But the doctor, who is leading a medical team rendering the responsibility of testing Covid-19 since March 25, did not take it seriously and continued his duty in the laboratory.  

Yesterday, he decided to test his own sample and found the result Covid-19 positive.

But still, he decided not to leave the workplace immediately as he was working on 331 samples on that day.

“I wanted to finish my pending work as many patients were eagerly waiting for their reports for three to four days,” Prof Shakeel told The Daily Star.

“By afternoon, I came to know that I was Covid-19 positive but I worked in the lab till 11:00pm to complete the day’s pending works,” he said.

“I prepared the test reports, signed those and then left the lab for going into isolation,” he said, adding, “It was an exceptional experience that I signed my own test report that showed positive for Covid-19.”

Asked about the safety of other doctors and assistants in the laboratory, Prof Shakeel said he was not infected there.

“I was infected by a patient at BITID hospital,” he said.

“As I have to work around 14 hours everyday, I have to go outside the lab. The hospital compound is overcrowded with patients; many of them do not even use face masks.”

“In the lab, we all use PPE and there is very rare scope for contamination there,” he said.

“Please pray for me so that I can come back and rejoin the battle against Covid-19,” he urged.

Prof Shakeel said another microbiologist will lead the laboratory of BITID in his absence. “I will be available over phone and will guide them with necessary instructions,” he said.

BITID is the first institution in Chattogram where Covid-19 test was introduced on March 25 with the leadership of Prof Shakeel. All the samples from at least six districts under Chattogram division were tested in the laboratory until tests were introduced in more institutions in the division.

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