Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research director Meerjady Sabrina Flora has been promoted to additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services.
Health ministry in a notice on Thursday said that Meerjady’s appointment of ADG (planning and development, current charge) of DGHS would be effective from August 20, 2020.
Meerjady was the focal person of COVID-19 situation in Bangladesh when the coronavirus emerged in the country.
In the face of widespread criticism due to lack of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing of the patients, the IEDCR was stripped off its duty to coordinate the tests on May 4.
The IEDCR is the disease monitoring arm of the government. Till May 4, it was responsible for coordinating COVID-19 tests, sample collections, contact tracing and other epidemiological tasks.
After the novel coronavirus emerged in China in December, the institute was the sole agent of testing COVID-19 and collecting samples across Bangladesh.
Bangladesh confirmed its first COVID-19 case on March 8 in Narayanganj. As of Thursday, the number of infected patients rose to over 2.69 lakh with over 3,500 deaths.
Till the last week of March, the tests of samples were restricted to the IEDCR alone and the number of tests were below 100 per day till March 25.
Despite the spread of infections across the country and ignoring the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of widespread tests, IEDCR continued its centralised testing and sample collections.
DGHS integrated COVID-19 Control Room, led by additional director general (admin) Nasima Sultana, is now coordinating the COVID-19 tests.