The majority of Covid-19 testing in Pakistan may be yielding inaccurate results, according to a health expert who reported that nearly 80 per cent of imported testing kits are of substandard quality.
There is no uniform national policy regarding Covid-19 testing in Pakistan, resulting in unregulated testing practices and the use of low-quality kits in many health facilities.
According to Dr. Saeed Khan, Professor of Pathology at Dow University Ojha campus, there is a high chance of human error in most of the testing kits used across the country.
“If a patient’s sample is taken and placed in the sunlight or in a warm place, the results will be radically different,” the professor explained.
He reported that while some large hospitals in the country are administering US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, high-quality testing kits, smaller laboratories have resorted to using unreliable, cheaper kits.
Pakistan has imported Covid-19 diagnostic kits from China, Turkey, the United States and several European countries.
Dr. Saeed Khan recommended stricter testing regulations to stop the use of non-FDA approved kits, as well as a uniform national policy on the diagnosis of infectious diseases, like coronavirus.
Pakistan shattered previous records on Friday, when the country reported the highest number of new daily cases since the pandemic began. Currently in the ‘fifth-wave’ of the contagious Omicron-variant spread, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) reported today that the Covid-19 positivity rate was hovering around 11 per cent.