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With over 4k swabs piled up, PMCH plans to expedite testing | Ranchi News

Dhanbad: The Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) here, which has one of the four Covid-19 test labs in Jharkhand, is likely to expedite the testing of swab samples by increasing the number of shifts in its laboratory to three from Thursday to clear backlogs of around 4,000 tests.
On Monday, deputy commissioner Amit Kumar held a meeting with civil surgeon Dr Gopal Das and PMCH authorities to improve the testing facility at the hospital in order to clear the backlogs. PMCH principal Dr Shailendra Kumar said, “We are already training five of our technicians so that we can increase the number of shifts in our lab which will help us in increasing the test completion rate to around 1,000 per day.”
Dr Kumar added, “Right now we are carrying out around 500-600 tests per day with the help of four RT-PCR machines in two shifts. We get around 900 to 1,000 swab samples from Dhanbad and other adjoining districts, including Bokaro, Giridih, Koderma, Deoghar, Dumka, Godda, Sahebganj, Pakur, Jamtara, Chatra, Ramgarh, which is leading to backlogs of around 200-300 backlogs per day.”
Civil surgeon Dr Gopal Das said, “With the increase in the number of shifts, we will be able to clear all the backlogs within a week. Once that is taken care of, we will concentrate on producing the test reports on a daily basis and will most likely furnish the reports within eight hours of sample collection.”
A source in the district health department said that after the number of shifts increases at PMCH, they will try to clear the backlogs of districts like Bokaro and Ramgarh on a priority basis.
Reacting to complaints by inmates at various quarantine centres of anomalous testing where those who have given their samples before are having to wait for the test results longer than those who gave their samples after them, Dr Kumar said, “Sometimes, such anomalies happen because of mistakes made by the lab technicians. However, we are trying to check such errors by strict monitoring.”
Asked whether the delay in testing the samples is due to a crisis of technicians, Kumar said, “We have enough number of technicians and besides, the district health department has assured us of providing all possible support, including technicians.”

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