Federal lawmakers tested for COVID-19 ahead of budget session

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KATHMANDU: Testing for the coronavirus has begun on federal lawmakers as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, ahead of the upcoming budget session beginning on Friday.

Swab samples of House of Representatives (HoR) and National Assembly (NA) members were collected for testing through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method, at the federal parliament building in New Baneshwar, today.

Preparations have begun to run the session by adopting necessary safety measures including social distancing. Likewise, health check-up will be carried out on everybody entering the parliament building.

Special preparations have been made to ensure the safety of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who has recently undergone kidney transplantation for the second time.

The testing of swab samples of lawmakers is taking place at a time when various districts have been reporting shortage of test kits, which has hampered the functioning of laboratories in many parts of the country. This, in turn, would increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission going undetected.

COVID-19 testing laboratory in Chitwan has reportedly stopped operations for over a week due to the shortage of test-kits. According to the laboratory, requisition request to procure 1,200 kits has been made with the Ministry of Health and Population. Similarly, due to lack of kits, tests to detect coronavirus transmission is failing to expedite in Karnali Province. These are a few examples of shortage faced by health facilities across the country at a time when cases of coronavirus infection is on the rise.

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