Nepal | August 11, 2020

BPKIHS to begin tests for Covid-19 today

Madhavi Marasini
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DHARAN: BPKIHS (BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences) has started conducting Covid-19 tests to help detect coronavirus from the collected samples, today.

The institute has made all necessary arrangements for initiation of the facility.

According to Professor Basudha Khanal, Head of Department of Microbiology of the Dharan based institute, BPKIHS is the second health institution in Nepal to collect samples for and run Covid-19 tests after the Teku based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Initially, laboratory samples were sent to the capital but now tests will be done at the Safety Level 2 microbiology laboratory in BPKIHS.

Photo: Dharnish Kumar Jha

BPKIHS will be testing for the presence (or absence) of the virus, that has caused a global pandemic, through collected samples, for the first time. “Covid-19 test is a multistep process and will approximately take about 4-5 hours to get results”, informed Khanal.

Prof Khanal adds, “We have upgraded the available testing devices and have received as many as 100 Covid-19 testing kits from National Health Public Laboratory, Teku, on Friday.”

“Around 5-6 suspected cases were reported only yesterday. The isolation ward in BPKIHS has 20 beds in total”, she elaborated.

“The tests will definitely be a huge service to the eastern part of Nepal in many ways. The more tests we conduct, the more we can prevent the spread of the pandemic by means of early detection and isolation”, said Dharnish Kumar Jha, a Junior resident at Department of Microbiology. “Also, the people in this part of the country won’t have to be dependent on the capital solely to get their tests done.”

“A nationwide lockdown in an effort to curb the virus from spreading in the country has bought time to break the chain of transmissions,” Jha added.

So far, in Nepal, 917 tests have been conducted, out of which 912 have come out negative while five tests have come out positive. Four patients are currently in isolation while one has recovered.

Covid-19 has infected at least 701,833 people and lead to death of 33,175, worldwide.

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