Laboratory staff not tested for coronavirus in Dhangadi


Staffers deployed in the laboratory at Seti Provincial Hospital, Dhangadi, have been working without testing for COVID-19.

The hospital’s laboratory In-charge Ramesh Shahi said staffers did not undergo PCR test because if any of them tested positive for coronavirus, there would be no one to run the laboratory and it would have to halt all tests.

The staffers’ PCR test was conducted once in the beginning. “But they have not been tested since March 31,” said Shahi.

Shahi said that doctors and health workers deployed for treatment would get rest after a week of service and undergo PCR test before they joined duty.

It is a continuous process as per the requirement of public health.

He also said that as per the new routine of lab staffers, health workers and doctors involved in the treatment of COVID-19 patients would be working on alternative weeks so that they got enough rest and also reduced the risk of contracting the virus.

He admitted that no staffer had been on leave since March 31.

Laboratory workers said that they did not have a fixed routine. “We are always busy till late night from early morning,” said Shahi, adding that staffers had not come with any complaints even though they worked round-the-clock.

It has been months since laboratory staff in the provincial hospital met their family members. They have been staying at a hotel. There are 10 staffers at Seti Provincial Hospital.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 2, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.