Oct 12, 2020

Capacity of PCR machine in Mulleriyawa questioned? Featured

Allegations have been levelled that the expected capacity from the newly established laboratory at the Colombo East Base Hospital (Mulleriyawa Hospital) is not being delivered.

It was claimed that the lab, set up at the cost of Rs. 250 million, had a capacity to complete 4,000 PCR tests on a daily basis.

It is reported that the National Trade Union Center has requested President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to look into the matter.

Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo yesterday (11), the convener of the NTUC - Ravi Kumudesh said that a modern machine had been installed at the laboratory and the ministry had claimed that the machine can conduct 4,000 PCR tests daily.

Speaking further Mr. Ravi Kumudesh stated as follows.

This machine donated by a philanthropist to the Colombo South Teaching Hospital was also taken to the Mulleriyawa laboratory for PCR testing. The request to install the machine in the new laboratory at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport was unsuccessful. However, the capacity stated by the Ministry of Health is not delivered. It is problematic and an issue that should be addressed, he said.

However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health said that the local health system did not possess any PCR machines that could deliver 4,000 tests daily.

The total number of PCR tests that can be conducted in 20 laboratories around the island stand at 5,000. The machine donated to Colombo South Teaching Hospital is set up at the Colombo East Base Hospital only on a temporary basis. The new lab at the Colombo East Base Hospital also has a new PCR machine. The total daily testing capacity of both machines stand at 1,200, he added.