There were long queues at Covid-19 testing centres in the capital on Saturday amid the ongoing strict lockdown, with many complaining that they had to wait for an hour to submit samples.
The closure of public transports and strict restrictions on vehicular movements due to the lockdown added to the woes of those who went to test centres. But getting a slot to submit samples after filling out online forms had brought them some relief.
The Covid-19 lab of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) set up at Betar Bhaban saw a big crowd since morning. People waited for 40 minutes to an hour to submit samples even though they had been given specific slots to submit samples after applying online.
Saikat Hossain, a resident of Malibagh who has been showing Covid-19 symptoms for five days, came to the BSMMU lab by a rickshaw. His slot was at 11am but he had come earlier and waited. By the time he arrived, there were about 25 people in the queue outside the sample collection booth.
He expressed annoyance that he had to wait for about an hour even after applying online. He had to ride three rickshaws, one after another, to come to the booth from Malibagh because of the lockdown. He was irritated as he had to not only spend more on transportation but also face troubles.
Salma Begum came from Mirpur along with her daughter to collect the latter's test report. She said her daughter receives chemotherapy.
"Because of that, she has already been tested 11 times. The reports were never delayed, except for this time."
ABA Wahid Khan brought his two daughters to the lab to give samples. He said their slots were between 11pm and midday.
"My wife tested positive but I tested negative. That is why I brought my daughters for testing," he said.
He also said it had been a bit of suffering due to the lockdown as he had to wait for a CNG-run autorickshaw for about an hour to come to the booth.
It would have been a relief for people if testing could be arranged at home at least during the lockdown, added Wahid.
Many also complained that they had faced problems applying for slots online. One of them was Sabur Khan, who said he had to wait for two days as he could not apply within the stipulated time.
"Since I have symptoms for three to four days, I tried to apply online but could not do so on time. Although it was urgent, I finally gave samples today after a two-day delay."
Monir Hossain, who came to receive the test report, said the crowd was not big on 14 April, the day he had submitted samples.
"But there are so many people today."
Md Saiful Islam, who was collecting samples, said crowds had been increasing for several days. "Today's pressure is greater than any other day."
Patients admitted to BSMMU were allowed to be tested at the lab by filling out forms directly. Iqbal Hossain came to the lab as his son Siam, who is admitted to the hospital, had to be tested.
He said, "I could fill out the form for my son directly. I do not know much about filling out online forms. That is why it was good for me that they allowed me to fill out the form directly."
Meanwhile, 101 people died of Covid-19 every day for the last two days. In the last 24 hours till 8am on Saturday, 3,473 new cases were identified after testing 16,185 samples.
So far, 715,252 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the country.