Delay in PCR test results has prompted Baglung to extend prohibitory orderTest results of swab samples of 72 individuals sent to Pokhara-based provincial lab on August 15 yet to be released.
The District Administration Office in Baglung has been extending the prohibitory order it had imposed in mid-August due to the delay in receiving PCR reports of coronavirus suspects.
On August 15, swab samples of 72 individuals at Galuwa in Baglung Municipality Ward No. 10 were sent for PCR test to the Pokhara-based provincial lab but the results have yet to come, prompting the authorities to extend the prohibitory order.
“We have extended the prohibitory order, which was to be lifted on September 3, until September 12,” said Chief District Officer in Baglung Suresh Neupane. “We may have to extend it further if we still don’t receive the results by then. We have tightened security in the district due to the increased risk of coronavirus spread.”
Neupane said his office has yet to receive the reports of more than 70 samples that were sent to the lab.
“If we lift the order before we get the results, we may enable the virus to spread further. This is why we have continued the restrictions in the district,” Neupane said.
According to Jeeban Bhandari of Galuwa, many locals in the area have been exposed to the risk of contracting the virus after they attended a feast organised by an Army personnel on August 15.
“The Army man who had organised the feast has tested positive for the coronavirus. Seventy-two individuals had attended the feast,” he said.
Meanwhile, the prolonged lockdown has severely affected businesses in the district, said Yubaraj Raj Bhandari, chairman at the Baglung Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The majority of businesses in the district are closed now but they still have to pay rents. Most businesses have now decided to close down for good,” Bhandari said.
Ram Prasad Khanal, chief at the Health Section of Baglung Municipality, said, “It’s taking at least 10 days to receive the test results these days. The delay in the release of PCR test reports has led to a delay in contact tracing as well. The authorities cannot lift restrictive orders unless all infections are traced.”
As of Thursday, 319 individuals tested positive for coronavirus in Baglung. Among them, 25 do not have any travel history.
According to the data of the District Health Office in Baglung, test results of 300 swab samples are yet to be released.