COVID-19 tests at Noakhali AMUMC lab suspended for kit crisis

Testing of novel coronavirus samples at the PCR lab of the microbiology department at Abdul Malek Ukil Medical College in Noakhali has remain suspended for the last three days due to kit shortage, reports news agency UNB.

Some 1,500 samples from greater Noakhali and Lakshmipur, including 952 from Feni, are currently awaiting tests.

Fazle Elahi Khan, assistant professor and lab head of the medical college, said on Monday night that they contacted the health department as there was a shortage of necessary kits since last week.

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They were allotted 1,500 red kits. But the PCR machine they have requires yellow kits. They can't change it because there is no yellow kit. It may take another two to three days to get the kits, he said.

He further said if they test 282 samples in two shifts every day, they need about 2,500 kits a week.

Since 11 May, some 7,600 samples have been tested at the lab.

Apart from Noakhali, samples from Feni, Lakshmipur and Chandpur districts are also tested at the lab at Abdul Malek Ukil Medical College.

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As there is no kit, everyone has been requested not to bring samples to the lab for the time being, he added.

Noakhali University of Science and Technology lab co-ordinator professor Newaz Mohammad Bahadur said that they have also started testing coronavirus samples from 11 May.

So far, about 6,750 samples have been tested. Their lab has a capacity of testing 150-200 samples daily. However, they have 600-700 red kits that will last another four-five days. In the meantime, they have approached the health department for the supply of kits, Newaz Mohammad Bahadur added.