Bir hospital starts COVID-19 tests

Kathmandu, April 10

Bir Hospital started conducting novel coronavirus tests today. Of all the samples collected today, four samples are being tested in the laboratory of Bir Hospital.

The hospital has started testing the samples using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) machine.

According to the hospital a total of 60 samples can be tested in two cycles per day. The hospital currently has reagent necessary for testing 400 samples.

The hospital currently has deployed a technician for conducting the tests. “Two of our technicians have been deployed in other areas for training the laboratory technicians. As there are very few samples, we are deploying a single staffer for the time being.

But if there is a large number of samples, we may need additional manpower,” said Dr Kedar Century, director Bir Hospital.

The hospital has also planned to test higher number of samples from Sunday.

Also, it has planned to test samples brought to National Public Health Laboratory.

“If required we will be taking samples from National Public Health Laboratory for conducting the tests,” said Dr Century.

World Health Organisation’s message for countries trying to contain the coronavirus spread was: ‘test, test, test’.

It has told countries to test every suspected case.

“If they test positive, isolate them and find out who they have been in close contact with two days before they developed symptoms, and test those people too,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said on March 16.

Earlier, the government had directed the hospital to start conducting COV- ID-19 tests and it had also directed the National Public Health Laboratory to facilitate the hospital in this regard.

A total of 3,525 samples have been tested till now. Of which 3,516 samples have been tested negative.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 11, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.