Friday, 17 September, 2021

PCR test halted in Rajbiraj after machine becomes dysfunctional


By Direndra Prasaada Shah
Rajbiraj, July 31: The Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machine at the laboratory in Gajendra Narayan Singh Hospital, in Rajbiraj, Saptari district has been out of order for the past three days.
Om Acharya, lab coordinator at Provincial Health Service Directorate, said, “Swabs collected from Dailekh, Salyan, Jajarkot, Rukum (West) and Surkhet districts have been kept in the lab under controlled temperature.”
“The machine has stopped working since the last three days,” said Dr. Ranjeet Kumar Jha, medical superintendent of the hospital, adding, “The PCR testing has been halted due to false reading in the swab test.”
He added that the hospital’s technician had been working since yesterday to repair the machine and it would start functioning soon. “RT-PCR machines installed in other districts of Province-2 had already witnessed problems, but this is the first time we are facing such problem in the machine of the hospital,” he said.
Dr. Jha, however, said that the officials had been sending swab samples to the laboratories in Biratnagar and Dharan and that testing had not stopped despite the problem in the machine.
The laboratory of the hospital has been providing PCR testing service to the residents of Saptari and Siraha districts. Saptari district has reported rising cases of viral fever in the last three weeks, because of which the patients visiting the hospital has increased lately.
Acting Chief of the Health Office Duniyalal Yadav said a total of 40 PCR tests were carried out on Sunday, out of which 25 tested positive for the virus. In mid-May this year, the Ministry of Social Development of the province installed the RT-PCR machine in the hospital and started testing samples. The machine can process 96 samples at a time.