PESHAWAR: The Khyber Teaching Hospital has started Covid-19 tests after installation of two PCR machines.

The public health laboratory began operations on Friday which will enable the suspected patients to get diagnosed the same day, according to a press release. So far, the hospital has been sending samples to the Khyber Medical University which took longer to get the results as the latter is supposed to cater to the whole province.

It is the 12th lab in the province to start Covid-19 testing, the release said.

The lab was established after Chief Minister Mahmood Khan accepted the management’s request. The WHO has provided the PCR machines.

The lab started functioning after validation by National Institute of Health Islamabad on May 25.

The external quality control assessment was done by a team of Khyber Medical University. The fully automatic PCR machines have the capacity to run eight tests per two hours each.

The health department has notified the KTH lab for Covid-19 testing. The samples from Peshawar and Khyber districts will be tested, the release said.

Other than Covid-19 testing the PCR will also be helpful in conducting DNA tests for different viruses.

Keeping in view the test limitation, 50 to 80 samples will be run in initial phase, however, in near future after receiving high-tech machines sample size will increase.

The facility will enable the doctors to fast track diagnosis of the suspected patients and advise them according to the results.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2020