Chinese assistance sought after main PCR machine breaks down

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – A Chinese expert is due to arrive in Sri Lanka to fix the main PCR machine that had recently malfunctioned, the National Operations Center for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPC) said.

Head of the NOCPC Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva told Colombo Gazette that the PCR machine was placed at the main laboratory of the Medical Research Institute (MRI) Sri Lanka.

The machine, which is the main PCR machine in Sri Lanka, is capable of conducting 1200 PCR tests per day.

The malfunction has caused a delay in receiving results of PCR tests at present, he said.

The Army Commander said that measures have been taken to bring down an expert from China to resolve the issue at the earliest.

So far only one PCR machine has malfunctioned in the country, he added.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Association of Medical Laboratory Technologists Ravi Kumudesh told Colombo Gazette that a PCR machine at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Mulleriyawa has malfunctioned.

Kumudesh said the machine was brought down from China with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank.

It is capable of conducting 1000 PCR tests at one time and has a capacity of 4000 PCR tests per day, he added.

However, Colombo Gazette’s efforts to clarify Ravi Kumudesh’s claims from the Health Ministry were futile.

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