5,000 RDT kits sent to each province: Govt

Published On: April 11, 2020 07:37 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 11: The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has sent 5,000 units of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits each to the seven provinces of the country.

During a regular press briefing Friday, Dr Bikash Devkota, spokesperson for the ministry said that the government has sent the test kits all over the country so that more people could be tested for COVID-19.

The government has sent RDT kits to all the seven provinces although the World Health Organization (WHO) has questioned the reliability of the kits.

“After the kits were sent, a total of 339 samples in Kailali, 137 in Kanchanpur, 21 in Kapilvastu and 19 in Baglung have been tested. All the tests have come negative,” Dr Devkota said, adding that the medics have been testing samples using RDT method in all districts of the country.

According to experts, RDT kits can just measure the antibodies which are part of the body's immune system and do not trace the virus in recently-infected persons or in those who have already developed immunity against the coronavirus.

During the press briefing, he also informed that there are currently a total of 125 individuals are being treated in isolation at various hospitals across the country. Of them 15 are in Kathmandu, while the remaining are in different hospitals outside Kathmandu.

“The medics have been conducting tests in every district. More than 800 samples are in currently in the process of testing,” said Devkota, adding that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine has been installed in Biratnagar-based Koshi Zonal Hospital.

With the addition of the PCR machine at the Koshi Zonal Hospital, the government is testing swab samples of COVID-19 suspects in 11 places.

Likewise, the spokesperson also informed that the government has been informing the local representatives about the suspects, who have filled their information through the mobile phone app. “The suspects who are in the red zone have been contacted by the ministry,” he said.

So far, the government has tested around 3,000 swab samples of COVID-19 suspects. So far, a total of nine COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with one patient already recovered.

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