The rate of polymerase chain reaction testing in Sudurpaschim Province has come down with only a few swab samples to test in recent days. The province has three PCR laboratories with the collective capacity of running nearly 3,000 tests daily.

“As there are fewer samples to test compared to the past, the rate of tests are declining,” said Seti Provincial Hospital laboratory incharge Ramesh Shahi, adding that a laboratory capable of conducting 1,100 tests every day was conducting 200 to 400 tests in recent days. Moreover, there aren’t enough swab samples to continue testing.

As per data with the laboratory, it is testing 200 to 400 swab samples per day nowadays and there are only a few hundred swab samples to test now.

Earlier, the PCR laboratory in Doti had stopped testing for a day on Sunday owing to lack of swab samples. “As we no longer face the onslaught of samples, we are testing all samples we get on the same day they reach us,” said laboratory in-charge Saurabh Shrestha.

Similar is the case with the laboratory in Dadeldhura, where just around 200 samples are left to test now.

Dadeldhura District Health Office COVID-19 contact person Hari Prasad Bhatta attributed the decline in collection of swab samples to the steady decline in returnees from India.

“As there are fewer people returning from India these days and again because the testing of all people at risk in the local level has almost finished, there are fewer samples to test these days,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dhangadi sub-metropolis Mayor Nripa Bahadur Wada has informed that the rate of swab sample collection in the sub-metropolis has increased now.

“The collection of fewer swab samples in some places might have to do with lack of resources,” he argued.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 10, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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