Image Source: Government of Sikkim, Facebook

Gangtok, June 8: Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia, Secretary cum Director General of State Health Department in his daily Health Bulletin on COVID-19 on June 8th announced that out of the seven positive confirmed cases, three have tested negative, bringing Sikkim’s active cases count to only four. 

The COVID-19 cases which have tested negative on Monday are the two ladies who were quarantined in South Sikkim and were discharged after 14 days in quarantine following no symptoms that had surfaced. The samples of both women were sent to the North Bengal Medical College (NBMC) in Siliguri, and the results arrived on Sunday, showing that they had both tested positive. Dr Pempa says, “The two ladies were tested again this morning and the reports were negative. This could be because since they completed their 14-day quarantine, they could have been positive earlier and have now recovered or there were some mistakes with the report in North Bengal Medical College, Siliguri. At this time we are not sure which of the two possibilities are right, but regardless this is very good news for the state.”

The third patient who tested negative is coincidentally the third confirmed coronavirus case of Sikkim, the 34-year-old man’s swab samples were tested in Mumbai after he developed symptoms, and while on his way to the New Jalpaiguri railway station, the hospital in Mumbai confirmed his results. Later, he was tested again at STNM and while the report was still positive, the viral load was minimal. Keeping that in mind, he was tested again on Monday which then showed negative results.   

The Health Secretary announced that from now on, Sikkim will not be sending any samples to NBMC for testing again, since the State has realized that they are capable of conducting their tests and reports. Also, while extending gratitude from the State Health Department, to the drivers of the vehicles and those who allotted the vehicles that were used for the transportation of samples for testing to NBMC, he informed that the vehicles would not be used for this purpose again.

The Health Secretary assured that all contacts of the above three negative cases are being tracked and tested for the virus, while some have also been kept in isolation or facility quarantine. Due to the update of negative results in these three cases, he has informed that they will now be sent for home quarantine.

Further in a State Task Force Meeting on Sunday, it was decided and also ordered by the Chief Secretary that the 287 swab samples from South Sikkim which had been sent to NBMC for testing whose reports are pending and all samples which have been sent by the various Chief Medical Officers of the State for testing and whose results are also pending in NBMC, tests will be repeated on all the above-mentioned samples, he informed.

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