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Viral lab starts functioning at STNM hospital

Sunday, May 31, 2020 15:15 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, May 31, 2020 09:43 [IST]

Viral lab starts functioning at STNM hospital

Change of Health team attending to Covid-19 patient

PANKAJ DHUNGEL
GANGTOK: The first batch of healthcare workers devoted to the Covid-19 positive patient at Covid-19 centre, STNM hospital here were discharged of their duties after eight days of service on Saturday.
The team consisting of 4 doctors, 16 nurses, four medical attendants, four sanitary workers, technicians and lab technicians are now on a 14-day quarantine in a government-identified hotel in Gangtok. The group was treating the patient and residing in annexure building in the STNM hospital premises.
They were given a huge round of applause by the STNM hospital officials and staffs as they exited the premises.
After their departure, the second group of 40 healthcare workers took charge of the patient presently receiving treatment in the isolation ward of STNM hospital. They too were welcomed and cheered by the STNM hospital officials and staffs.
The first batch of healthcare workers have undergone the sample testing through RT-PCR and their samples are at the viral lab in STNM hospital, informed hospital medical superintendent (MS) Dr. Passang D. Phempu.
Highlighting the services rendered by the healthcare workers to the patient, the MS said, “We have tested the healthcare workers yesterday and results are awaited, we are hopeful that the results will come through as negative for them as well. They have been in service for seven days and now they will be under quarantine for 14 days. If the samples come through as negative and second set of testing around the 14th day since their exposure to the patient on May 22 and May 23, we may give them early leave and sent them for home quarantine depending on the safety. They will be out of their homes for 21 days with a lot of stress and sacrifices, spending time away from their families.”
The STNM hospital MS extended his gratitude to the Chief Minister and State government for facilitating a free quarantine for the healthcare workers.
On how the Covid-19 patient is being treated, Dr. Passang stated: “The patient, is fine, he has no symptoms, only the day he came he was showing symptoms. We immediately started on the medication. After medication, he is fine and happy inside the isolation ward. In the second test we conducted on the fifth day of his admission, the viral load had come down. Virus is still there, he is still shedding virus, therefore he is supposed to stay here. We expect to keep him for 14 days but we will test him after his discharge as well. Once that test is negative, he is safe to go outside.”
Elsewhere, all the primary and secondary contacts having been tested negative and they have been put under special quarantine in East Sikkim. “They will be tested again in 5 days. Once that it comes negative they will be sent back to facility quarantine or home quarantine", said Dr. Passang.
On the functioning of the viral lab beginning at STNM hospital from Saturday, the medical superintendent stated, “The viral lab established in hospital has been functional from today, with tests for first batch of 12 sample tests being conducted. The samples have been validated by another lab, so the lab is in a position to carry out its own tests. Henceforth we don’t have to send any samples for testing to NBMCH in Siliguri. Since it is an initial phase, we may not be able to take too many shifts, just about 90-180 samples in a day. As and when our staffs become experienced and proficient, we will increase the number".
Dr. Passang asserted that the viral lab is sufficient for the population of Sikkim.

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