Due to the lack of testing capacity in laboratories, results of around 10,000 PCR samples collected from suspected COVID-19 cases could not be released in four hospitals including the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, and this has complicated the efforts by authorities to control the spread of the virus.
As a result of this unfortunate situation, some 2,145 PCR samples have piled up at the Karapitiya Hospital, 1,500 samples at the Anuradhapura Hospital, 1,800 samples at IDH, while another 4,500 have piled up at the Medical Research Institute (MRI).
Secretary of the All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Union (ACMOU), Dr. Jayantha Bandara, said though PCR samples have to be kept below 4 degrees Celsius, the refrigeration facilities at the Karapitiya Hospital cannot cater to this.
He said, due to this situation, the PCR samples received daily have to be kept in cooling rooms of the Hospital.
Dr. Bandara also stated the limited staff serving at the Hospital have been forced to work overtime, to look into the PCR samples situation, while not even having time to consume meals, leave alone resting.
He added that if the country is to avert scores of people falling victim to the COVID-19 virus, the Government would have to intervene promptly to increase facilities to analyse PCR samples in hospitals.
Among the proposals mooted by the ACMOU towards this end are setting aside a building which could cater to all demands concerning the COVID-19 pandemic or setting aside a few rooms in close proximity to the hospitals, the continued supply of medical equipment, ensuring adequate staffing at hospitals analysing PCR samples,the continued supply of refrigerators, providing bonuses to all medical officers instead of deceiving them as was done during the first wave of the pandemic, the continued supply of adequate personal protective equipment, and the continued training of a force which could take over at short notice if any medical officer contracts COVID-19.
(Source: Ceylon Today – By Kumudu Upul Shantha)