Gangtok: Four COVID-19 patients have tested negative in Sikkim, making it the first lot of recoveries in the Himalayan state. They patients are likely to be discharged on Friday. The recovered patients include the first COVID positive case of the state, who was a Delhi returnee. The patient tested negative in the first test, but a second test is to be conducted which will assert on his discharge from the hospital.
The second patient who tested negative is another Delhi returnee, who was in the free quarantine facility in Mining, East Sikkim. He was the contact of another COVID positive patient, identified as nephew-uncle who shared the same room in the quarantine facility along with another female who tested negative.
The two other patients include the two women from Denchung and Kamrang in South Sikkim. They were identified as COVID positive late, that is, after completed their 14 day quarantine period. Their samples were part of the back log at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, which was released much later by the Viral lab in North Bengal. But upon a re-test at VRDL lab at STNM Hospital, they tested negative.
Health director general Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia in his daily health bulletin said, “The patients were kept under observation for days, despite testing negative. Now with them showing no symptoms, they were discharged from the hospital, today (Thursday). There are about 300 plus samples which are part of the backlog at NBMCH and now with VRDL lab in STNM functioning properly, all such samples will be retested here in STNM Hospital.”
On the confusion over the Aarogya Setu app and even the Union Health Ministry portal showcasing 13 active cases, the health director general said, “It was showing 13 as the 2 women were not discharged from the hospital, despite turning negative. Also, the addition could be with one patient who tested positive on Truenat but later upon RT PCR testing it turned negative. However, we are still keeping the patient under observation and he could see his discharge once the test is conducted on the 14th day.”
Sources inside the hospital have countered the TrueNat positive case, with some claiming that the Mumbai returned had a history of typhoid while in Mumbai. “It could have been typhoid, but his viral load was more and initally the Truenat test showcased it to be positive. But we are certain that it was not a case of Corona Virus,” stated a health worker requesting anonymity.