Delay in test reports hinders contact tracing in KapilvastuCoronavirus suspects have to wait for at least 10 days to get their test results.
People suspected with coronavirus infection in Kapilvastu still have to wait for at least 10 days to get their test results. This delay has caused difficulties in expediting contact tracing and also risked the safety of other people in communities.
On Monday, a Kapilvastu-based journalist died while he was waiting for his test result. The 62-year-old from Kapilvastu Municipality Ward No 1 had given his swab samples for a test on August 29. He passed away while undergoing treatment at the district hospital in Taulihawa. He had pre-existing kidney ailment, high blood pressure and diabetes.
"We came to know about the infection only after his death,” said one of his family members. “We would have isolated him and given him treatment accordingly if we had known about the infection. We would also have ensured our own safety.”
A team of health officials from Kapilvastu Municipality had collected the swabs of the deceased man after one of his family members had tested positive for the disease. The team had also taken swab samples from seven others through contact tracing.
According to the health unit of the municipality, the swab samples of 78 people were sent to the Public Health Laboratory in Bhairahawa in the past two weeks.
"So far, we have received the test results of only six people," said Umesh Gupta, the coordinator of the health unit. "We must expedite contact tracing, especially after the test result of the deceased came positive. But we haven’t been able to do so since we are yet to receive the test results.”
Test results of 74 people are awaited in Banganga Municipality as well.
"We collected the swabs on September 1 and sent them to the Provincial Hospital in Butwal," said Thagaraj Paudel, the health coordinator of the municipality.
Likewise, 60 suspected coronavirus infected people in Krishnanagar Municipality are also waiting for the test results since Thursday.
According to Dr Rajendra Giri, chief at the Public Health Laboratory in Bhairahawa, the lab should ideally be able to release the test reports within 48 to 72 hours, but these days the lab has been overburdened.
“The lab has been stretched too thin because we have been receiving swab samples from several districts. We get hundreds of swabs for testing daily and we have just one machine that can conduct 96 tests per day,” he said.
The coronavirus tests are being conducted in Bhairahawa, Butwal, Nepalgunj and Dang districts of Province 5.