BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: The director of ICMR’s testing laboratory in Kolkata on Monday alleged that the West Bengal government is not sending enough samples for COVID-19 testing. Dr Shanta Dutta, Director of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) said in an interview to India Today that in the last few days there is a big drop in the number of samples sent to the Centre-owned testing laboratory.
Dutta stated that last week the NICED did not even receive 20 samples per day. “Number of samples being sent is determined by the state government, so if they send more samples, we are able to test more. I think sample collection has not been as per the recommendation. So number of tests being done in Bengal is also less,” reported India Today quoting ICMR-NICED director as saying.
Recently, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee complained about the lack of testing kits in the state. Responding to Banerjee’s allegation, Dutta said that 42,500 kits had been dispatched by ICMR. NICED director told India Today at present the centre-owned testing lab had 27,000 kits in its stock, as some kits were dispatched to Odisha and Port Blair.
Dutta further claimed that 7,500 testing kits were also given to the West Bengal government. According to the report, till April 12, 2020, a total of 2,523 tests have been conducted in the state. Dutta also emphasised in increasing the number of COVID-19 testing in the state.