RAWALPINDI: As the number of dengue patients increased, the government hospitals ran short of the dengue testing kits forcing their administrations to conduct the test through other means.

The Dengue Expert Advisory Group had issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to the hospitals to conduct the dengue test through Elisa machine but there was now a shortage of kits.

A senior doctor at Benazir Bhutto Hospital told Dawn that the hospital administration was conducting the test through complete blood count to check the platelets of the patients, fever and other means.

He said most of the patients were diagnosed non-dengue patients but it would be checked through proper dengue serology on the Elisa machine.

He said suspected patients mostly sent their samples to private laboratory for test which cost more than Rs3,000 while the same test was free of cost in government hospitals.

“The dengue serology is being done through the Elisa machine and these tests include immunoglobulin G (Ig) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests but there was shortage of kits at the Holy Family Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital also,” said a senior doctor of the HFH.

He said 300 patients reported to the three government hospitals during the last two days but only 169 of them tested positive and all these were diagnosed through symptoms and complete blood count tests.

When contacted, Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Umer said there was no shortage of kits at least at the HFH.

“Dengue patients are tested through other means, including complete blood count, ultrasound, fever and symptoms.”

He said there was a shortage of kits but “we managed and it would be available in the hospitals in coming days.”

He said filter clinics were also checking the patients in sensitive areas.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2019