Delay in testing prompts Budhiganga mayor to transport 338 swab samples to Jumla

BAJURA: The snail paced progress of RT-PCR tests all over Sudur Pashchim province has prompted Mayor of Budhiganga Municipality, Deepak Bikram Shah, to cross provincial borders to deposit swab specimen at Karnali Academy of Health Sciences in Jumla.

The entire Sudur Pashchim province shares a single lab -- the one in Dhangadhi -- to avail RT-PCT testing services. As such, delays of over two weeks to receive test-results have become commonplace in the affected districts.

However, as would be expected, people that have deposited swabs are growing frustrated with the rampant delay in receiving the results.

Acting under pressure to to speed things up, Mayor Shah along with the Municipality's Health Coordinator Deepak Shah left for Jumla based lab in coordination with the Academy, carrying along as many as 338 swab specimen. "We are hopeful that the Jumla based lab would expedite the testing procedure and make the results available at the earliest possible," health coordinator Deepak Shah informed.

According to the Mayor, a large number of people that had returned from India have been placed in quarantine centres for an over-stretched period. They are now growing frustrated with the delay and have begun protesting, demanding that they be released from quarantine and allowed to go home, he added. The authorities therefore took it upon themselves to sort the issue and deposited the specimen across province.

Furthermore, Chief of District Health Office Daya Krishna Shrestha adds that the management of people in quarantine facilities would be easier if the reports were received on time. Authorities are having a difficult time calming down the people that have to wait for an unknown period of time to know if they've been infected or not.

Around a thousand people housed in various facilities across Bajura have tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies in RDT. While most of their samples have been drawn, their tests are in a state of limbo given the unavailability of adequate testing equipment.

Various affected districts have time and again asked the federal government to facilitate testing in their areas as the inability to do so is leading to mismanagement of quarantine facilities.

Meanwhile, the reports for the recently deposited samples will be received by Wednesday at the latest, the municipality informed.