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Shortage of kits affecting testing capacity of Covid-19 labs in KP – Pakistan

PESHAWAR: Inconsistent provide of kits and non-existence of devoted workers has adversely been affecting the capability of the PCR Covid-19 laboratories within the province, in response to sources.

“If the provision chain of kits is maintained repeatedly, then the province can conduct as much as 7,000 Covid-19 exams per day. Presently, the variety of swabs processed within the province is 4,000 solely,” senior well being officers in one of many high-risk districts advised Daybreak.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which started Covid-19 testing from 40 per day at Public Well being Reference Laboratory (PHRL) in Khyber Medical College when the pandemic occurred early this yr, has now the potential to conduct greater than 3,000 exams however the primary hindrance is non-availability of kits on common foundation.

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Presently, 1,500 exams are performed in KMU.

“The province has now 12 laboratories in public sector with 14 PCR machines together with three small machines however its final result is way beneath the specified stage additionally resulting from scarcity of devoted workers to work on everlasting foundation because the makeshift preparations are hampering the result,” sources mentioned.

Well being Secretary Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah advised Daybreak that the problem of scarcity of Covid-19 PCR kits was taken up with Nationwide Command and Operation Centre and would quickly be resolved. Equallycommon workers was being supplied to allow the laboratories to work constantly, he added.

Sources mentioned that well being division was additionally buying kits from the market occasionally that have been equipped to the laboratories consistent with their wants however there have been complaints of scarcity resulting from which the variety of required exams couldn’t be performedThe federal government can be discovering it arduous to buy enormous amount of kits as its value ranges between Rs2,000 to Rs3,500.

Common testing of suspected folks is a part of the surveillance system to establish the extent of prevalence of virus among the many folks and take precautionary measures. After testing, we isolate the constructive folks from the neighborhood in order that the an infection doesn’t transmit to the others,” mentioned sources.

The World Well being Organisation has been asking the province to reinforce testing in faculties and common inhabitants to have the ability to put brakes on the second wave of the virus, which is feared with the onset of the winter season.

The well being division can be within the course of of buying two new PCR machines for the PHRL in KMU the place two of the 4 machines have gone out of order.

Sources mentioned that the machines on which 150,000 exams have been already performed have been additionally being repaired that will improve the KMU capability of testing to 2,000 per day from the current 1,500.

The KMU, which is spearheading the KP’s efforts to reinforce testing, has additionally requested the WHO for 2 extra machines to additional strengthen its investigation capability. The WHO has already supplied six machines and associated equipment and kits to KP, in response to officers.

KP has up to now performed 413,694 exams of which greater than 90 per cent have been performed in PHRL and it requires extra machines, workers and constant provide of kits to maintain the exams getting in accordance with its potentiality.

A report by well being division on Wednesday mentioned {that a} whole of 39,470 samples have been collected from faculties since October 15 of which 398 examined constructive and 32,182 have been unfavorable whereas the outcomes of 6,890 have been nonetheless awaited.

Sources mentioned that there can be no look forward to testing supplied the federal government ensured common provide of kits together with deployment of standard workers on the laboratories.

“These PCR labs have been established in Covid-19 disaster however these can be working in future in dengue and different epidemic, subsequently, require devoted human assets,” they mentioned.

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