The government has procured seven RNA extraction machines to expand testing for COVID-19.
Chief of the management section of the Department of Health Services Ramesh Prasad Kharel said the machines can double the current testing capacity of the laboratories. He added that one machine will be sent to each province after testing the quality of machine.
The machines will be sent to Dhangadi, Surkhet, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Dhulikhel, Birgunj, and Biratnagar. The laboratories there can double testing capacity with these machines.
SARS-COV-2 is an RNA virus, and that RNA has to be extracted for PCR test. Kharel said RNA currently has to be isolated manually, and the machines can extract the RNA in a short time.
Only the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) currently has such extraction machine and it can test over 1,000 samples a day. Other laboratories without such machine can only test around 250 a day. The laboratories can test up to 500 samples a day using the machines.
The department also informed that 300,000 RNA kits have arrived and there will be no shortage of kits for testing. Additional kits will be procured if needed.
Published Date: Wednesday, Shrawan 7, 2077, 19:09:00