Narayani Hospital yet to start PCR testing

Kathmandu, April 19

Though Narayani Sub-regional Hospital, Birgunj has received polymerase chain reaction machine for conducting tests of samples of coronavirus suspects, it is yet to begin the tests.

The hospital has not been able to test the samples due to lack of bio-safety cabinet, PCR master mix cabinet, centrifuge, vortex mixer, heating block and freezers — equipment necessary in the laboratory to conduct tests.

“We have been trying to purchase all those items, but they are not available in the local market. In the absence of those items, the samples can’t be tested,” said Dr Madan Kumar Upadhyaya, medical superintendent at the hospital.

The hospital has allocated space for testing samples.

World Health Organisation has said any testing of samples for COVID-19 should be done in appropriately equipped laboratories by staff trained in the relevant technical and safety procedures.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 20, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.