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Broken PCR machine : Chinese assistance sought for repairs

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The breakdown of a PCR machine at the newly established laboratory in the Colombo North Teaching Hospital in Ragama has delayed nearly 20,000 PCR test results, The Morning learnt.

National Operations Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Head Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva had instructed officials from the Health Ministry to immediately address the issue and take necessary action within 48 hours.

Lt. Gen. Silva told the media that the machine was currently placed at the Medical Research Institute (MRI) and measures were in place to rectify the malfunction immediately, and to begin the operation.

He said a technician from China would arrive in the country soon to fix the machine.

It was further revealed that a PCR machine purchased for Rs. 250 million with the assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB) was placed at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Mulleriyawa in May 2020, but had malfunctioned six days ago.