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Shortfall of COVID-19 test-kits in Nepalgunj complicates problem



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Doctors in duty amid scarcity of test-kits. (Photo: Siraj Khan)

By Siraj Khan, Nepalgunj, Mar 26: While preparations to combat COVID-19 are being expanded throughout the nation, Nepalgunj has fallen short of medical kits required to test the novel coronavirus.

The facility of sending blood and throat swab samples of corona-suspected people to Kathmandu is available only in the Bheri Hospital. But the hospital has been facing problems because of shortage of the kit to send the samples to Kathmandu.

Even though many suspects have been quarantined in Banke, Bardiya and other districts, we have not been able to test them due to the lack of medical kit, said Dr. Prakash Bahadur Thapa, Chief of the Bheri Hospital.

Dr. Thapa said that the kits were stuck in Kathmandu Airport itself due to suspensión of flights during lockdown.

Pointing out at the importance of testing the virus, Dr. Thapa said that the blood samples from all over the nation should be airlifted to Kathmandu for the labboratory test, without any hinderances.

He further said that he had not received any information in writing about establishing a test laboratory in Nepalgunj itself.

"The government has taken a good decisión to establish the laboratory in Nepalgunj. It should be implemented immediately," he viewed.

Dr. Thapa said that blood samples of seven people were sent to Kathmandu till now, and all of them had tested negative for the virus.

Dr. Asim Kidwai, physician at the Nepalgunj Medical College, said that the situation would be serious if immediate efforts were not taken in making the testing kits available in Nepalgunj at the earliest.

Meanwhile, District Administration Office (DAO), Banke, has said that the office has continuously been asking the center to address the urgent need of medical kits.

Likewise, the hospitals in Banke have said that they were in utter scarcity of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) and other safety equipments.

 

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