Ukhrul frontline workers virus tested for free
R LESTER MAKANG
UKHRUL, 4th Aug: The lone TrueNat Testing Centre in Ukhrul town has commenced free Covid-19 tests for front-line workers, including police personnel since the last few days.
"We are providing free Covid-19 tests for all front-line workers, symptomatic patients and any quarantine inmates belonging to below poverty line category who wish to undergo the test. This is done in line with the SOP given by the government," the centre's in-charge Dr Achan informed The People's Chronicle over the phone on Tuesday evening.
Without giving the details of the number, he said that many police personnel in the district have come forward for the test over the past few days.
"While some have tested negative for the virus, many others are waiting for their reports," he continued, adding that the entire security forces stationed in the district, including Manipur Rifles and Assam Rifles, are likely to undergo the test as part of preventive measures.
He informed that the centre has so far conducted around 40 tests which included retests of patients from Covid-19 care facilities before they were discharged for home.
"The test is done free of cost for such people but it will cost Rs 2400 per test for the general public and individuals. The rate is fixed by the government," Dr Achan said, adding that some private parties have started availing the testing service on payment. According to the medical officer, the centre is continuing a moderate number of tests a day depending on the requirements. "There's no fixed number of tests as there's no backlog of samples for the district now," he said, adding that six tests were performed on Tuesday.
"All tests are done within 2/3 days now and there's no pending of any samples," he said.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the centre is operating with only one lab technician and is facing some technical difficulties in its normal functioning.
"We need more lab technicians for smooth functioning of the centre," he said.
He also pointed out that there's no biosafety cabinet for the centre which is a basic safety requirement for the staffers at the centre. The testing centre received 200 testing chips/kits from the state government and another 500 chips from PHE minister Losii Dikho recently.