Samples outnumber Covid-19 testing capacity in Dhangadhi lab

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DHANGADHI: Throat swab specimen collected from various people from various districts in Sudurpashchim Province are piling up as the samples outnumber the testing capacity of the province’s only laboratory.

As many as 1,642 samples collected from around the districts till Sunday, await testing in the Dhangadhi based laboratory, informed Doti’s District Health Directorate. The directorate further said that the collected samples are currently stored in a freezer to secure their testable quality.

However, according to experts, samples must be tested within 72 hours from the time of collection in order to receive accurate results.

Earlier, the directorate had suspended sample collection for five days due to similar problems – the specimen were piling up while the lab could test only a specified number per day, thus leading to a hoard of pending collected samples.

The laboratory specified for COVID-19 tests in the province has been built at what was Veterinary Laboratory Livestock Disease Investigation Laboratory in Dhangadhi. It has a capacity of testing at least 250 samples a day with one RT-PCR machine at it’s disposal.

The Provincial government had recently announced that the Sudurpashchim would expand the number of labs providing Covid-19 test services at Doti, Dhangadhi and Baitadi. However, not even the process of procuring required machines to establish the labs has begun yet.


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