Nepal to allow private labs to test COVID-19 samples

Kathmandu [Nepal], June 14 (ANI): As throat swab samples started piling up in government-operated labs around the nation, the government of Nepal has decided to let private labs conduct the tests.

Private labs will be allowed to start the test for COVID-19 once they complete the criteria set by the government, Health Ministry spokesperson Dr Jageshwor Gautam announced on Sunday's press briefing.

"Private labs will be granted permission to conduct Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests once they complete criteria set by the government and acquire permission from the Ministry. All the expenses for the test will be incurred by the government," Gautam said.

The government of Nepal already has set up 21 COVID-19 test labs around the nation in the wake of the pandemic but government labs are flooded with the samples. People on average have to wait for nearly a week to get their results, increasing the probability of contagion to spread further as Nepal has been reporting an average of over 300 cases on a daily basis.

On Sunday alone, Nepal reported 425 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 virus taking the tally to 5,760 with 19 deaths and 974 cases of recovery.

Out of the new 425 cases, 375 are males while 50 are females, reported from various districts around the nation. One more person on Sunday succumbed to the virus while staying in isolation centre of Gulmi District.

A total of 1,33,377 samples have been tested in Nepal using the PCR method to date. A total of 6,099 swab samples were tested on Sunday only by using the PCR method. (ANI)