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Sikkim: West Bengal rejects samples sent for COVID-19 tests citing pending cases

The North Bengal Medical College and Hospital has rejected the samples sent for the COVID-19 test by Sikkim. A total of 85 samples were sent to the NBMCH on May 28th, 2020 for the COVID-19 test which the hospital had refused to accept citing a number of pending cases.

Informing this, the DG cum Secretary Health Department, Dr. Pemba T. Bhutia. Bhutia said, “All the samples have been taken back as the NBMCH rejected to test. The NBMCH said that they will not accept any sample for tests from Sikkim for the next four to five days as the hospital has more than 6000 pending cases.”

The samples are now being stored in STNM Hospital till the viral lab here becomes operational in the state. It is pertinent to be mention that nearly 800 test results are due from NBMCH.

Also read: Sikkim gets first COVID-19 testing lab, continues corona free status

On May 21st, 2020, Sikkim filled up the deficit of a COVID-19 testing lab after the inauguration of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) certified laboratory at STNM Hospital at Sochaygang.

Situated on the 9th floor of the COVID-19 dedicated hospital in Sikkim, the laboratory has the capacity to conduct 90 tests at a time. Each batch (90 samples) will take five hours to deliver the test results. The initial process of RNA Extraction will take three and a half hours, followed by one and a half hours of actual testing. The VRD Laboratory will initially be manned by one Microbiologist and two laboratory technicians. Subsequent batches of lab technicians are being trained to replace the present batch in the stipulated time frame.

Meanwhile, four persons have been tested positive for COVID-19, which has infected around 2 lakh and claimed over 4000 lives across the country, in Darjeeling. Of the four confirmed cases, two are from Kurseong Municipality area and two are from Sonada.

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