CM says Covid-19 testing facilities being upgraded as backlog continues

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, May 14: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said the Covid-19 testing facilities in the state are being upgraded.
The state has been struggling with a testing backlog. More than 416 results are awaited as on Thursday evening. Altogether 194 samples were collected on Thursday, with the highest being in the capital complex (56), followed by Lower Subansiri (29) and West Siang (23). The state has so far collected 2677 samples, and carried out 61 repeat tests.
Since the state made testing mandatory for all those who enter Arunachal, laboratories, particularly the RMCH in Dibrugarh, Assam, have been overwhelmed with samples from Arunachal.
Apart from Dibrugarh, where the bulk of the samples from the state goes, the samples are also tested at Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) and the intermediate reference laboratory (IRL) in Naharlagun in Arunachal, and the Tezpur Medical College Hospital, Assam.
The Dibrugarh lab, which had a backlog of 401 samples on Thursday, has improved massively with results of 261 awaited. However, the Tezpur Medical College Hospital continues to struggle. On Wednesday, the results of 167 samples were awaited, while on Thursday it stood at 128.
TRIHMS has zero backlogs, while the IRL has 17 samples yet to be tested.
The chief minister had earlier asked the Centre to provide more TrueNat facilities in the state, in addition to the three that are functional.
Health Secretary P Parthiban said that the state will get four more TrueNat machines, each capable of testing 48 samples.
He further said that return in results will improve as “sample pooling, where five samples are pooled, has started in TRIHMS, as per ICMR guidelines.”