Surkhet, July 1 -- The lone real-time polymerase chain reaction machine at Coronavirus Test Laboratory at Karnali Provincial Hospital, Surkhet, has been out of order for the past five days with around 800 swab samples, collected from various districts of Karnali Province, yet to be tested.

Om Acharya, lab coordinator at Provincial Health Service Directorate, said, "Swabs collected from Dailekh, Salyan, Jajarkot, Rukum (West) and Surkhet districts have been kept in the lab under controlled temperature.

"The temperature in the freezer has been maintained at minus 80 degrees celsius. We can preserve the samples for five to six months but given the pandemic, it would be good to expedite testing," said Acharya.

Karnali's provincial governme...