Nepal | January 16, 2021

Two more labs ready to verify PCR tests

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, April 19

The Ministry of Health and Population has authorised Bheri Hospital, Nepalgunj, and BP Koirala Institute of Health and Sciences, Dharan, to cross-check polymerase chain reaction results of coronavirus positive cases.

Ministry Spokesperson Bikas Devkota said during the daily press briefing held at the ministry that the government authorised two hospitals outside Kathmandu for cross-checking results as that would save time.

Until today COVID-19 positive results determined by laboratories outside Kathmandu were reconfirmed by National Public Health Laboratory, Teku. COVID-19 positive results determined by Koshi Zonal Hospital and Hetauda Hospital were cross-checked by NPHL.

Devkota told THT that eventually all PCR laboratories established outside Kathmandu could do the cross-verification, but since most of the laboratories outside Kathmandu were new, test results needed to be crosschecked by other laboratories.

Devkota said PCR results of laboratories close to the two newly designated laboratories —  BPKIHS, Dharan, and Bheri Hospital, Nepalgunj — could send samples to these hospitals for cross-verification. Laboratories near Kathmandu can send their samples to NPHL for reconfirmation, he added.

Bheri Hospital started testing PCR samples today; becoming the 15th laboratory outside Kathmandu to test samples of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. Devkota said a medical team flew to Udayapur today to collect laboratory samples of 250 people in the district where 13 people have been infected with COVID-19. Doctors and health professionals had collected lab samples of 69 people in Udayapur district yesterday.

Devkota said government authorities had begun tracing people who had come in contact with the 13 COVID-19 patients in the district. Khem Bahadur Karki, health adviser to Minister of Health and Population Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal told THT, “It is standard practice that laboratories have to reconfirm results of samples from old and upgraded laboratories. Even NPHL sends 10 per cent samples to a laboratory in Hong Kong.”

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

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