PCR Testing average to exceed 700 this week - DGHS

It is recommended that employees from the Colombo district be called to report for duty, and not those who travel to Colombo from other areas of the country, once the curfew is lifted. Only one-third of employees can be called for duty. No one will be punished for not reporting for duty or getting delayed during this time. What is important is keeping social distance and following all health guidelines, Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe said.

According to Dr. Jasinghe, the average PCR Tests conducted in Sri Lanka exceeded 500 last week and it is set to exceed 700 this week (ending today, April 26). The Government will send samples to selected private hospital laboratories to conduct the PCR Test to further increase the PCR Testing capacity, Dr. Jayasinghe said that the Government expects to send samples for testing to selected private hospital laboratories and pay the relevant charges without allowing them to do the PCR Test for people independently. The PCR Testing capacity of the state laboratories by Thursday (23) was 1,142 Tests per day.

Dr. Jasinghe said a new laboratory will be started at the Colombo East Base Hospital (Mulleriyawa) soon with ADB assistance, which would have a capacity of 1,000 PCR Tests per day. More PCR machines are to be obtained from the Higher Education Ministry. The reporting of the number of COVID-19 patients have increased only due to the drastic increase in conducting PCR Tests and no community transmission, he said. The number of PCR machines in state laboratories will be increased shortly, as discussed at a tele- conference held with all state laboratories on Friday (24).

Meanwhile Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Pavithra Wanniaraxchchi had a special meeting on Thursday (23) with representatives from Asiri, Nawaloka, Durdans and Lanka (private) Hospitals to discuss the issue. The private hospital representatives had said that one private hospital can give 100 PCR Test reports to the Government per day, a Health Ministry spokesman said.

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