Delayed COVID-19 test reports pose high risk of outbreak in community

Published On: June 21, 2020 09:25 AM NPT By: DIL BAHADUR CHHATYAL AND BIRA GADAL

DHANGADI / BAITADI, June 21: Even though migrant workers and others returning to Nepal via different Indo-Nepal border points are quarantined for 14 days, the risk of COVID-19 outbreak is still high due to delayed PCR test reports. 

According to the local authorities in the far west, many of the people who were already let go home have tested positive for the virus in reports which came after they left the quarantine facilities. This has posed a high risk of COVID-19 outbreak in the community.

Chairperson of Ganyapdhura Rural Municipality of Dadeldhura, Nawal Bahadur Malla stated that people have been found to have tested positive for COVID-19 after two days of leaving the quarantine facilities. This situation would not have come if the reports had come on time.

“They were quarantined. They stayed well for 14 days. Then they were sent home. And now we learn that some of them are infected,” said Malla. “Now they are already there in society, they might have met many people, let alone their family members,” he added.

Contact tracing of those infected people who left the quarantine facilities is now going to be too hard, he further lamented.  

The local governments have relied on RDT (rapid diagnostic test) to let people go home or hold them back. However, experts have been suggesting to do away with RDT ‘as it deceives’, by not showing the real condition of the infected person.

According to Malla, the government should totally ban RDT. Or else, this will only add to the troubles of the authorities as well as the virus may spread widely. “The same problem has been noticed in Baitadi, Kailai and Kanchanpur,” he said.  

There is a single CXOVID-19 testing lab in the province. Some samples are even sent to Kathmandu for testing. Malla stated that the results cannot be expected before two to three weeks. The cases of COVID-19 have surged across the country in the last few days.








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