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Backlog of samples a concern, pace of testing will increase by June end — Yhome

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 11, 2020 11:34 pm

Our Correspondent
Kohima, June 11 (EMN):
The massive influx of Nagaland’s citizen from other states in the last few weeks has resulted in “huge backlog” of samples awaiting confirmation in laboratory and TrueNat machines across the state.

According to a source, as of June 9, there was a backlog of 909 samples out of 2847 collected.

“At this stage, you may say it is close to 900 or 1000 backlogs and that is surely a concern,” said the secretary for Health and Family Welfare, Kesonyu Yhome.

He however maintained that for the next few days “we will continue to have backlogs in these huge numbers”.

According to the department of Health and Family Welfare’s daily Covid-19 bulletin update, the cumulative number of samples sent for testing stands at 4732, and the number of samples awaiting result was 1212 in RT-PCR.

Meanwhile, the number of samples tested by TrueNat is 152 and results awaited were 38.

The testing capacity in the state is estimated to ramp up by the end of June, from 230 (now) to more than 800. The bio-safety level-2 laboratory in Dimapur is expected to be operational by June itself, while more number of TrueNat machines are expected to arrive and be installed in all the districts, as per health officials.

“By June end, we are looking at the (testing) capacity of 800 to 1000 per day including all the TrueNat machines and BSL labs, BSL-3 in Kohima and BSL-2 in Dimapur,” Yhome said.

Once the state acquires the capacity to test 800 to 1000 samples per day, the backlogs will become manageable. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be backlog tomorrow, but the backlog of 200 to 300 is manageable, he added.

State Nodal Officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Dr. Nyanthung Kikon, informed that besides the BSL-3 lab and TrueNat machines, the state is still getting a lot of support from the Assam government.

“The laboratories in Dibrugarh and Jorhat are still supporting us,” he added.

On June 9, about 273 samples were tested at the BSL-3 lab in Kohima, and about 90 samples were tested at Dibrugarh. Samples collected from various districts including Dimapur, Mon, Mokokchung is still being sent to Assam, besides the BSL-3 lab in Kohima, Kikon said.

“We are trying to explore all the other labs,” he said and thanked Assam and Manipur governments for their continued support. Earlier, samples collected from the state were sent to Assam and Manipur for testing.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 11, 2020 11:34:20 pm