Sindh Bans Testing of Asymptomatic Patients Under 60 Amid Shortage of Kits

The Sindh Health Department has banned COVID-19 screening of asymptomatic people under 60 years of age at public labs, said a notification on Thursday.

The decision has been taken following a shortage of test kits at public labs.

For timely processing COVID-19 tests at public sector laboratories, only suspected patients of more than 60 years age, having symptoms and suffering from comorbidities will undergo PCR testing at public sector laboratories till further orders.


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Those who don’t fall in the mentioned category and those having a contact history should be quarantined for 14 days under the supervision of health staff.

Testing in educational institutions will continue where students and faculty suspected to have the virus will be tested.

Once antigen tests are available at the health department, all symptomatic suspect cases and educational institution contacts will have tests done for antigen. The PCR will remain reserved for Category 1 patients. Travelers are advised to have their COVID-19 testing done at their own expense from private labs.


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Speaking on the development, a health department official told the media that they face an acute shortage of kits, while thousands of people, especially those traveling abroad, go to public laboratories for screening daily.

He revealed that the private labs, such as Aga Khan, have refused to accept samples from the health department as they too are under tremendous pressure of having a huge backlog.

The official, however, mentioned that the ban was temporary and hoped that the situation will likely get normal in the next few days.



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