As the second wave of coronavirus is rapidly spreading in all the local levels, people in Bajura are facing a hard time due to lack of PCR testing in the district.

Bajura Hospital Management Committee Chairman Bharat Thapa said they were compelled to take the swab samples to Doti and Dhangadi due to lack of PCR machine in the district. Patients have to wait for almost a week to know their PCR results, which had created difficulty in providing timely treatment to patients.

According to Bajura Health Office, even the kits for antigen testing are not sufficient in the district.

Acting Chief at the District Health Office Mahesh Chand said there were only 300 kits in the hospital.

Seven people have tested positive for COVID-19 in antigen test in the last three days in the District Hospital. Those who test positive for antigen are asked to undergo PCR test, but due to lack of PCR machine in the district, there is inordinate delay in identifying the infected on time. Thapa also said that the hospital was compelled to send the swab samples outside the district for test.

He said that it was very difficult to send the swabs outside the district and the process was also quite costly.

Earlier, the district had decided to buy a PCR machine, but the process of purchasing the machine could not go ahead due to some problems. The responsibility of initiating the process was given to District Coordination Committee Chief Narendra Kumar Rokaya a few days ago. But Rokaya failed to coordinate among the local levels for the same.

Chief District Officer Gopal Adhikari said that he had called a meeting of the authorities concerned but could not take any concrete decision. Budhiganga Municipality had offered Rs twenty lakh to buy the PCR machine last year. But the process of buying the machine was halted after the local levels could not allocate budget for the same.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 29, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.