Shortage of VTM mars swab collection
Saptari, August 27
Province 2 is facing a shortage of viral transport medium even as the government upscales tests for coronavirus, affecting the collection of swab samples from suspected coronavirus infected people.
Altogether, 49,000 swab samples had been collected for coronavirus tests from mid- March till mid-July, Province 2 government’s Ministry of Social Development said. The government had increased swab collection from July-end, collecting 90,708 swab samples till yesterday.
The most number of swabs were collected in Rautahat, Parsa and Saptari districts, according to the health offices in these districts.
In Saptari, swabs of 5,440 people were collected till mid-July and at present the swabs of 13,165 people had been collected, Saptari District Health Office’s officiating Chief Duniyalal Yadav, said.
Similarly, swabs were collected from 19,525 people in Rautahat and 17,737 people in Parsa district.
The total number of infected in the whole country has reached 34,418 with 885 new cases yesterday. Among the infected, 7,045 are women. Province 2 is ahead of all other states in terms of the number of coronavirus infected people.
According to the Ministry of Health and Population, Sarlahi recorded 120 new cases, Dhanusha 43 cases, Bara 24 cases, Rautahat 20 cases, Mahottari 18 cases, Siraha three cases and Saptari and Parsa had one new case each yesterday.
With this, the total number of infected persons in the province has reached 9,945 including 1,421 women. Province 2 alone accounts for nearly 29 per cent of the total infections throughout the country.
Among the infected persons in the province, 4,439 have returned home after recovery.
Secretary at the Ministry of Social Development Dr Ram Prasad Ghimire said at present swabs of nearly 1,000 people were being collected daily for coronavirus testing since the infection rate was the highest in Province 2. Swabs are collected from those people included in contact tracing, suspected cases and active cases.
Officiating chief of Saptari District Health Office, Yadav also said that they were collecting swabs of 150 to 200 people daily in the district and only 350 VTM kits were in stock. He said they were bound to decrease the number of swab collection as they were running short of VTM.
According to him, they will run out of VTM within couple of days and they will have to stop the swab collection.
Among the seven districts in the country having more than 500 active cases, five are in Province 2 itself. Mahottari, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat and Sarlahi districts in Province 2 have more than 500 active cases.
There are 5,556 active cases in Province 2.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 28, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.