June 17. Collection of throat swab of people suspected of coronavirus infection has stopped in the Sudurpaschim (Far-west) region.
The task of swab collection has been suspended again due to the shortage of the viral transport medium (VTM) kits. Director of the Sudurpaschim Health Directorate, Dr Gunaraj Awasthi said that collection of swabs has totally been stopped due to the shortage of VTM kits. He said the Health Supply and Management Centre under the Ministry of Social Development has run out of stock of VTMs prompting a total halt in swab collection.
Dr Awasthi said they have requested the Federal Government to send the VTMs as it purchases the VTMs. Even the collection of swabs of people suspected of carrying coronavirus and those who have come in contact with the infected people has stopped, he added. Before this swabs collected from 2,066 people that were sent to the National Public Health Laboratory Kathmandu for test.
Tests for coronavirus infection have also halted at the Animal Disease Research Laboratory at Dhangadhi as there is no swab for testing using the RDT-PCR machine installed at the lab. The Sudurpaschim Health Directorate had suspended collection of swabs for five days last month before this citing more swabs than the laboratory’s capacity were collected for tests. The swab collection has been halted again within a week since its resumption due to the shortage of VTM.