The state health department has asked NRS Medical College and Hospital and Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital to begin Covid-19 tests from the first week of June.
The Bengal government has alerted the Indian Council of Medical Research that these two government hospitals could soon conduct swab tests.
“We want to start RT-PCR test immediately at these two hospitals. The departments of microbiology have been asked to complete the pending work (to set up a laboratory) in the next few days,” a health department official said.
Engineers of the Public Works Department, who have been working on setting up the infrastructure, have been told to hand over the laboratories to the government by June 1.
State-run laboratories such as School of Tropical Medicine, RG Kar Medical College and Hospital and SSKM Hospital have been struggling to cope with the load of swab samples reaching the hospitals from Howrah, and North and South 24-Parganas.
“Once two more laboratories start working, the backlog of samples will be cleared faster,” the health department official said.
The three hospitals have a backlog of 600 samples at present.