Both the new cases are Delhi returnees Credit: Representational image

Gangtok: Two more persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Sikkim on Wednesday, taking the state’s tally to 66 active cases on Wednesday. Elsewhere, a 27-year-old Delhi returnee died of tuberculosis on Tuesday night; however, STNM Hospital had earlier considered the patient as COVID positive.

In a clarification on the same, state health director general and secretary Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia on Wednesday stated, “The patient had reached the state on June 5 from Delhi and was weak with symptoms of fever and cold. He was brought to the hospital on the very first day but upon his request he was sent for facility quarantine in Hotel Sinolchu. On June 12 (week after his arrival), he tested negative for COVID on TrueNat but he was still unwell. On June 13, we conducted an RT-PCR test and that as well came through as negative and followed the same again on June 15, testing negative.”

Seeing that the patient was not COVID positive, the STNM Hospital conducted a CBNAAT test for tuberculosis and he was found to be positive. “Knowing that he was not COVID positive, we felt that his TB treatment would be better facilitated at home, we moved him from the facility quarantine. But, sadly, he expired mere hours later at 11:30 pm at Central Referral Hospital where he was rushed from his residence on Tuesday night,” Bhutia added.

In panic, CRH Manipal also conducted a COVID test to assert if the deceased was infected, and the same came through as negative again.

lsewhere, two more patients tested positive under RT-PCR testing at VRDL lab in STNM Hospital. The patients have been identified as an 18-year-old female, a Delhi returnee, who came back on June 7. She was kept in quarantine in Pelling and has since been shifted to isolation in Kyongsa, Geyzing in West Sikkim, informed the health director general.

Another patient, identified as 52-year-old male from Tathangchen above Gangtok, had come back with symptoms of fever on June 14 from Delhi. “Knowing that the patients had symptoms, we immediately took him to the flu clinic on June 15. We conducted a test as part of 287 samples yesterday and he tested positive. His contacts, around 10 have been kept under special isolation at ICAR guest house,” the official said.

Meanwhile, two patients — while they completed three weeks of isolation — still tested positive on repeat test and have been kept in the isolation until they test negative twice in 24 hours. They are also housed at STNM Hospital taking the isolation patient count to 52. Geyzing Hospital in West Sikkim has 14 patients in isolation while the STNM Hospital triage facility had 3, taking the total to 69 patients admitted.

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