The Inter-Ministerial Central Team (ICMT) on Friday recommended the West Bengal government to increase its COVID-19 tests to 2500-5000 per day. The suggestion was made after the team visited Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute and Bangur hospital in Kolkata.
Apurva Chandra, Additional Secretary, Government of India, and head of IMCT wrote a letter to West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, seeking a report on the delay in COVID-19 test results.
"The State government needs to submit a report on the reason for the long waiting time of COVID test results. For some patients, the wait time is more than five days. Besides, the government needs to increase COVID-19 tests to 2500-5000 per day."
The IMCT had visited CNCI and Bangur hospital to take stock of the situation amid COVID-19 pandemic. Upon their visit, the team found that people were violating social distancing norms in the waiting area in Bangur hospital.
Seeing that there were only 12 ventilator beds at Bangur hospital for its 354 critical COVID-19 patients, Chandra also urged the state government to increase the number of ventilators.
The letter to West Bengal Chief Secretary also pointed out that there were reports on social media claiming that several dead bodies were lying in open wards for hours before being taken to the mortuary. Upon inquiry, it was informed that it takes at least four hours to issue a death certificate, after which the body is shifted to a mortuary.
"It is not clear why a body should lie in a ward in full view of other patients and shifted to the mortuary even while awaiting death certificate. Records may be furnished for how much time it takes to issue a death certificate and shift a body to the mortuary," the letter stated.
(With inputs from ANI)