GAIGHAT: Collection of throat swab samples for PCR testing to identify COVID-19 patients has been halted following the insufficiency of medical supplies in Udayapur district.

According to the District Health Office, the process of sample collection has been halted for the past six days in absence of Viral Transport Media (VTM), which are used for collection, transport, maintenance and long-term freeze storage of clinical specimens containing viruses.

An Udayapur journalist was recently reported to have contracted the infection. Samples of more than 250 persons who had come in contact with the aforementioned journalist could not be collected, informed Chief of District Health Office, Mohan Subedi. They were able to collect 38 samples and no more due to lack of VTM.

“We have requested the provincial government to provide the VTM, however, they have not been made available yet,” he added. “Although we have the necessary human resources, the shortage of supplies has compelled the closure of collecting test samples, putting the area at greater a risk of transmission.”


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