COVID lab struggles to work with insufficient human resources

By Narayan Adhikari

Chitwan : The Bharatpur COVID-19 laboratory built in April in a very short period of time is struggling to perform for lack of systematic operation. It is said that shortage of human resources has marred the laboratory’s service delivery.

The lab established under the Bharatpur Hospital has not made any visible progress as compared to the initial days of its operation. Currently, the technical human resources are working just for a single shift though they worked round the clock during the time of its establishment. For lack of skilled human resources, the individuals have to wait for a week to collect their report after the testing.

Chief of the laboratory, Dr Neetu Adhikari, said that there are just seven technical human resources and four of them are either injured or taken sick. She said that the technicians expected to take rest are also obliged to work.

In the initial days of the lab operation, the technical human resources from the District Hospital were assigned in the lab for work. Currently, four from Bharatpur Hospital, two from BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital and one from Health Office Chitwan are discharging their duty from the laboratory.

Dr Adhikari stated that the existing human resource can work only for the single shift. It is said that the lab receives around 115 sample swabs for testing and the suspected ones has the obligation to wait for a week to receive their results. “We failed to work for lack of human resources,” Dr Adhikari added.

She recalled that the lab was in operation for round the clock with 574 swabs tests during the days of its establishment. However, Chairman of Bharatpur Hospital Development Committee Dr Bhojraj Adhikari said that they were preparing to provide the result of the sample test to the suspected in a single day.

So far, the lab tested 13,200 swab samples and 400 individuals out of them tested positive for coronavirus.