The National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) and other hospitals have not been able to conduct coronavirus tests in expected numbers though the government had handed them the responsibility.
In Kathmandu Valley, NPHL, Bir Hospital, Patan Hospital, and Dhulikhel Hospital are responsible to conduct Covid-19 test. As these hospitals are able to conduct only a limited number of tests, the Teku-based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital has to bear the influx of people coming in for the test.
The Ministry of Health had earlier instructed the above-mentioned hospitals to conduct 200 tests each day.
Patan Hospital conducts maximum 15 tests per day according to the Hospital’s Director Bishnu Prasad Sharma. According to him, the Hospital cannot conduct 200 tests each day as instructed by the government due to the lack of human resources and experience.
He added that the Hospital also lacks chemical regent needed for the tests while its staff do not have adequate experience in conducting tests.
Patan Hospital currently has only six lab technicians to conduct Covid-19 test.
A month ago, the government permitted all hospitals across the country to conduct Covid-19 test in a bid to ramp up the number of tests. But most of the hospitals do not have the resources for it.
Around 700 people visit Sukraraj Hospital on a daily basis seeking Covid-19 test. Director of the Hospital Dr Sagar Kumar Rajbhandari said they are having a hard time to accommodate the huge influx of people and so the location to collect swab samples should be added.
Similar is the story of Bir Hospital. Director of the Hospital Dr Kedar Prasad Ceintury said Bir Hospital cannot conduct 200 tests per day as instructed by the government for want of adequate human resources.
Dr Ceintury added that six lab technicians working for 24 hours a day were having a hard time to operate the testing lab.
Bir has been conducting 30 to 70 tests per day, according to Dr Ceintury.
Similarly, Dhulikhel Hospital has been conducting 70 tests per day in average, informed Spokesperson at the Hospital Dr Suman Tamrakar. He added that more tests could be conducted but they do not have adequate human and medical resources.
A total of 17 hospitals across the country are conducting coronavirus test at present and TU Teaching Hospital is also preparing to begin conducting the test soon.