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Gangtok: Of the seven COVID-19 cases reported from Sikkim, three patients have tested negative, leaving only 4 active cases in the state. These include two women from South Sikkim, and a Mumbai returnee. The two women had tested positive as per a test from North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH), however later they tested negative.

Speaking with EastMojo, STNM Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Passang D Phempu said, “Among the reports from NBMCH, the two patients from South Sikkim had tested negative, both of whom were identified as 29-year-old and 37-year-old women. But, later when we conducted an RT PCR test here at STNM VRDL lab, they tested negative”.

Health Director General Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia, stated, “there is a possibility that these patients may have recovered over the 14 days period, since their samples were part of the backlog with NBMCH. Many days have passed since May 23, so either they have turned negative or it was a flaw from NBMCH.”

The test of these 2 women were among the 256 samples from Sikkim for which results were awaited since May 23.

The other patient, a Mumbai returnee has also tested negative. His test initially was conducted in Truenaat, and later on RT PCR test he was found negative. “The Mumbai returnee had tested positive but later we observed his viral load was less. So RT PCR test later confirmed that he was negative”.

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However, the patients are not discharged from the hospital and are being kept under observation. Elsewhere, DC South Ragul K informed 25 contacts of the two COVID-19 positive patients from South Sikkim have all tested negative. “The samples of family members, roommates of the two females who tested positive from Kamrang facility quarantine and the health staff deployed at Melli screening centre were all sent for tests and later declared as negative”.

NBMCH still has a backlog of 287 samples from Sikkim. There are 140 samples from South District, 120 from East and 10 from West Sikkim. “All such pending tests have been considered for a repeat test. We have decided we will not be sending any further samples to NBMCH as the viral lab in STNM is now fully functional. The state has opted for an independent and efficient approach with the decision to conduct our RT PCR tests from here on”, added Dr Pempa.

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