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Baglung district still crying for laboratory for COVID-19 test



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By Khemraj Gautam, Baglung, Jan 15: Baglung district has yet to get a laboratory to carry out a PCR test for Covid-19 despite persisting infection risks. The government's decision to establish a laboratory at Dhaulagiri Hospital in the district has not been implemented even after six months.

Service seekers have complained about a delay in the establishment of a laboratory.

It is a matter of shame that a laboratory has not been established so far amid growing Covid-19 risks, said a rights activist Ram Sharma. "Still service seekers have to wait for days for PCR test reports without a laboratory in the district. Such a serious issue should be taken seriously. Now it seems that a PCR machine and Covid-19 vaccines reach the district simultaneously."

On 12 November, bidding was announced to purchase a PCR machine. But no process in this regard has been moved ahead so far. A delay in the release of the budget has caused a delay in the purchase of a PCR machine, said the hospital. The government released Rs 10 million to the hospital to set up a laboratory.

The hospital however demanded more budget citing that Rs 10 million sent by the government was not enough to purchase a PCR machine and establish a laboratory. Hearing the demand of the hospital, the Gandaki provincial government released Rs 4 million.

"The hospital has now started the process to purchase a PCR machine and set up a laboratory. There has been a delay in this regard without a budget in the first place and due to some technical problems," said Dr. Shailendra P Pokhrel, medical superintendent of the hospital.

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