Covid-19 test results delay causes sleepless nights to many - Eastern Mirror
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Covid-19 test results delay causes sleepless nights to many

By Our Correspondent Updated: Aug 05, 2020 8:00 am

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Aug. 4 (EMN): As the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Nagaland continues to increase daily, hundreds of samples are sent for RT-PCR test, and this has caused delay in declaring the results.

The delay in confirming test reports is reportedly causing anxiety not only among the Covid-19 patients, but also to the returnees confined at quarantine centres and people from containment zones.

A Covid-19 patient informed Eastern Mirror that eight samples taken from a batch at NHAK Covid-19 hospital were declared only after seven days, thus increasing the risk of getting exposed to new patients.

According to SOP, the test reports of each Covid-19 patient have to be declared within one or two days after the sample of the person was taken.

Some primary contacts from a containment zone in Kohima also informed how they and their parents were in dilemma, spending sleepless nights over a week while waiting for the confirmation of their test reports.

A returnee also shared how she had seen a pregnant lady who came forward to test her samples in Dimapur but was asked to go home and come some other time.

Noticing the plight of the vulnerable groups, some concerned citizens have reportedly requested the health authority to give more care and priority to the elderly, children and pregnant women in terms of testing samples.

Meanwhile, the BSL – 3 laboratory at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) Covid-19 hospital is said to be hit by huge backlog of samples and even reports of Covid-19 patients are reportedly delayed.

A reliable source from NHAK told this newspaper that repeated sample testing of legislators, assembly secretariat staff and all those attending the forthcoming Assembly session scheduled for August 13, has also caused a delay in confirming test reports.

It is informed that that the results of many sample taken between July 26 and the 29th are also yet to be declared.

Meanwhile, some returnees who are currently undergoing their confinement period at paid facilities in Dimapur also claimed that their samples were misplaced and retest was necessitated after waiting for many days, thus causing troubles to them.

A returnee told this newspaper she was sent along with a batch of 35 people in a bus for her first test after her 10th day in quarantine.

Besides the risk of contracting the virus while travelling in overcrowded city bus, she claimed that her first sample was misplaced by the authority, following which she had to undergo a retest by staying for another six days after completing her 14-day quarantine.

She shared that many people, who are currently putting up in paid facilities for their mandatory quarantine period, are facing difficult time due to overstay caused by the delay in getting test results.

When queried about mishandling of such samples, a government spokesperson said that some samples had to be retaken. “Repeat sampling” is usually followed when technicians are not satisfied with some samples during the testing process.

Overstay bill issue

While many are financially prepared for stay at paid quarantine centres, there are also some who come to the state for urgent work with limited budget. So, overstay at these facilities due to delay in test results declaration has caused problem, as they have to pay more.

A returnee informed that paid facilities charge between INR 900 to 4,600 per day.

When asked if the government is reimbursing the bills for overstay in paid quarantine, an official informed that they have not received any directive from the government about such arrangement.

“So far the government has not issued any directive on extra stay and extra payment,” the source said, adding, “We have not yet clarified it from the government”.

The source also acknowledged that the delay in giving test samples results has forced the inmates to overstay at paid quarantines.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Aug 05, 2020 8:00:00 am