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    People of Chitral demands provision of covid-19 diagnosis facility in Chitral

    By Zahiruddin

    CHITRAL: The people of Chitral have demanded provision of covid-19 diagnosis facility in Chitral in order to save the people coming from down districts from being  quarantined for fourteen days at the cost of huge expenses and check the spread of the deadly virus from infected persons to the healthy ones.

    A retired doctor based in Chitral said that the government was pursuing the bizarre policy of ‘penny-wise and Pound-foolish’ for the last forty five days since the people coming from down districts are being quarantined by the district administrations of both Lower and Upper Chitral.

    He said that  more than three thousand people had been quarantined in both the districts so far and the expenses on their boarding and lodging for fourteen days exceeds Rs. 20 million while the price of corona testing machine lies in the range of Rs. 5 million with all its accessories, chemicals and kits.

    He said that presently, the swab samples are sent to Peshawar under cold chain system to keep the sample at temperature below 4 degree celcius to retain its vitality while the transportation of the sample to the reference laboratory in Peshawar also costs heavily.

    He said that there was every time a risk of the expiry of the swab sample from the patient’s body leading the result of the test to be inconclusive and a fresh sample is needed while it will be disastrous if the positive case is detected as negative as a results of contamination of the sample due to the passage of more than 24 hours.

    A doctor of DHQ hospital said that all the passengers coming from the down districts are not suspected and vast majority of them is healthy and free from the deadly virus but their stay in the quarantine centre with suspected persons causes their infection.

    He said that out of the 12 cases of covid-19 cases in Lower Chitral, 9 were lodged in the same quarantine centre established in the hostel of Government Commerce College while the local transmission of the deadly virus has been nil.

    He asserted that if a healthy person is put to test short after his arrival, then he will  reach his home unaffected and the rush in the quarantine centres will also dropped abysmally.

    DC Chitral Lower Naveed Ahmed said that in case of availability of testing facility in Chitral, a passenger coming from the down country will have to pass only one day in the quarantine centre in case of negative result and will be shifted to the isolation centre in the hospital if the result is positive.

    He said that it costs the local administration more than Rs. 70,000 in transporting the sample to the reference laboratory in Peshawar in the required temperature while they have to cater to the needs of 300 persons every day on average.

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