Two PCR machines at KTH go out-of-order

July 03, 2020

PESHAWAR: The two PCR machines installed at the Khyber Teaching Hospital have gone out of order, making it difficult for the hospital administration to cope with patients arriving for coronavirus...

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PESHAWAR: The two PCR (Polymerase-Chain Reaction) machines installed at the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) have gone out of order, making it difficult for the hospital administration to cope with patients arriving for coronavirus investigations.

Both the machines were donated to the KTH by a foreign donor through the office of director-general health services a few weeks ago. It had enabled the KTH administration to conduct 80 investigations of coronavirus suspects in 24 hours. The machines had shared the burden of other public sector laboratories, functional at the Khyber Medical University (KMU) and Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) in Peshawar.

“There was a heavy load on the KTH in the first few weeks when the machines were first installed but patients flow has considerably reduced now. The machines are in fact very sensitive and they could have possibly developed complications due to heat or lack of rest,” argued an official of the KTH, when reached. The hospital spokesman, Farhad Khan said the engineers had been called in to determine and fix the fault in the machines.

He said the swabs collected from patients at the KTH were sent to the KMU. “Hopefully, the issue would be resolved soon and our machines will be functional,” he hoped. The sources in the KTH told The News that the Health Department was supposed to provide them with another PCR machine on June 25, but it could not fulfil the commitment. “The Directorate of Health Services is one of the laziest departments. Most of the problems at the moment are due to incompetent people sitting in the directorate,” said an official at the KTH. Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra told The News he would personally pursue the issue of the faulty machines in the KTH and ask his team to arrange another machine for the hospital so that patients do not suffer. The first PCR lab of in KP became functional at the KMU. Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz had on the right time felt the importance of PCR lab when the coronavirus arrived in Pakistan and in KP.

He had arranged Rs100 million for the KMU on an emergency basis that helped the KMU administration purchase a state-art-the-art machine and kits to start coronavirus investigations.



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