Open test hubs, Tea Board urged
Tea industry representatives have requested the Tea Board of India to set up Covid-19 testing centres in the Dooars belt.
Tea Association of India secretary (the Dooars branch) R.A. Sharma said they wanted the Board, which works under the commerce ministry, to set up three testing centres to speed up Covid-19 tests in the tea belt and ease pressure on existing testing hubs.
So far, swab samples from the Dooars tea belt are being tested at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital lab.
During the past few weeks, over 50 migrant workers from tea belts have tested positive.
So far, some 15,000 migrant workers have reached Jalpaiguri among whom almost 90 per cent have spent their 14-day quarantine. Some 2,000 more are still quarantined.
“We want the Board to open testing facilities or labs in Banarhat, Malbazar and Nagrakata,” said Amitangshu Chakraborty, principal advisor, Indian Tea Planters’ Association.
Contacted, Tea Board deputy chairman Arun Kumar Roy briefly said said that they were working under Union home ministry guidelines.