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Viral lab inaugurated, completes Covid-19 centre of Sikkim

Friday, May 22, 2020 13:35 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, May 22, 2020 07:50 [IST]

Viral lab inaugurated, completes Covid-19 centre of Sikkim

We are now fully ready to handle Covid-19: CM

GANGTOK: Chief Minister P.S. Golay on Thursday dedicated the viral research and diagnostic lab installed at the new STNM hospital, Sochyagang here to the people of Sikkim. The lab would take up Covid-19 testing as soon as approval is given by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
After inaugurating the lab, the Chief Minister spoke with the ICMR director over video conferencing wherein he said the Sikkim government will start Covid-19 testing immediately after the ICMR gives the ‘go ahead’. He also thanked the ICMR and Union government for setting up the viral lab in Sikkim.
The ICMR director told the Chief Minister that the ICMR is ready to extend all support to the Sikkim viral lab including training of manpower required.
Till the ICMR validation comes, samples from Sikkim will continue to be sent to North Bengal Medical College & Hospital (NBMCH) for testing.
Addressing the media, the Chief Minister said the viral lab installation completes the final preparations of the Sikkim government against Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have a Covid-19-dedicted treatment centre at STNM hospital with isolation wards and other requirements. Only thing was lacking, we did not had our own viral lab. This final aspect was also fulfilled today and we are now capable of testing and treating if anyone is infected with Covid-19. We are now fully ready,” said Golay.
Construction works of the viral lab had commenced from April 13.
The Chief Minister said it was a historic achievement to install a lab within a short period despite challenges posed by the national lockdown. He pointed out that allegations were made by the opposition parties on the delay in setting up the viral lab. He referred to similar allegations made by former Chief Minister and SDF president Pawan Chamling.
“Making such allegations is the man who ran the government for 25 years. It does not suit him because in his term, the desired progress could not take place in the health sector. However, we did not heeded to such allegations and continued with our work and today we became successful,” said Golay.
The viral lab is situated on the 9th floor of the Covid-19-dedicated centre of the STNM hospital. It will have the capacity to conduct 90 tests at a time. Each batch of 90 samples will take five hours to deliver the test results.
It is expected that the viral lab could start operating from May 26 (Monday) onwards depending on the validation from the ICMR.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi