Thiruvananthapuram: DMOs still rely on Manipal lab

H1N1 state nodal officer Amar Fettle said RGCB is not a testing lab.

Thiruvananthapuram: Despite having a state-owned virology lab at Alappuzha, the district medical offices are depending on the virology lab in Manipal for testing swabs for H1N1, and it takes at least three days to get results.

With the number of H1N1 cases on the rise, the authorities have stepped up preventive measures.

They have already sent around 400 samples to the Manipal Institute of Virology in Karnataka.

"We sent all the swabs using viral transport medium on the night train to Udupi from Thiruvananthapuram. More than 400 samples went in the past two months. This is more convenient than sending the swabs to Alappuzha," an official said.

He said that strict instruction had been given to private hospitals across the state to hand over samples to the respective district medical offices.

"Many private hospitals do not have the viral transporting medium. We are providing it to them, and they have been instructed to return the collected swabs to us," said the official.

The authorities have also restricted private hospitals from sending samples to Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB).

H1N1 state nodal officer Amar Fettle said RGCB is not a testing lab.

"It's a research centre, and they help us during emergencies. H1N1 is endemic, and there is no point in collecting swabs and waiting for the test result to initiate the treatment. We have specific guidelines and protocol to identify H1N1 cases," said Mr Fettle.

State secretary of Indian Medical Association Dr N. Sulphi said that every district should have a virology lab.

An official of the state virology lab at Alappuzha confirmed that they don't have the facility to do the test.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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