Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, which has been treating coronavirus patients since the first case of the disease was reported in Nepal last year, has stopped conducting polymerase chain reaction tests until further notice.

According to STIDH Director Sagar Kumar Rajbhandari, the hospital does not have extraction kits necessary for conducting PCR tests. "We had to ramp up testing as the number of coronavirus cases has increased in the past few weeks. As such, we have run out of extraction kits," he said.

STIDH imports extraction kits from Guangzhou, China.

"We have not been able to import more kits as flights were cancelled due to prohibitory orders," said Rajbhandari.

The hospital used to conduct 400 to 500 PCR tests a day.

"We need up to 10,000 such kits to meet the current demand.

Tests will start in a few days after we get the kits," said Rajbhandari.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 12, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.