New test facility at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital
The Virus Research & Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, located on the outskirts of Siliguri, will start conducting respiratory panel infection test from next month.
The test is vital to find out viruses which have infected the lungs and the respiratory tract of a patient who has suffered a viral attack.
“This will be the first of its kind test facility in north Bengal. Chief minister had earlier announced that such a facility would be introduced in the state and the NBMCH has been chosen as one of the testing centres. The tender process to obtain necessary equipment for the test has been done and we hope that from the first week of November, the test can be held here,” said a source.
Experts at the VRDL said that through the test, viruses responsible for lung and respiratory infections including influenza-one, S-one, rhinovirus can be diagnosed here.
“So far, samples of patients from north Bengal were sent to Calcutta to find out which virus has infected them in case of respiratory problems and the testing facility was not available in any state-run hospital of the region. The facility is available at private hospitals but it is expensive. Now, it will be available free of cost,” said an expert.
Arunava Sarkar, the principal investigator of VRDL, mentioned that so far, RT-PCR tests of 5.90 lakh swab samples have been carried out in the lab, which is highest for any lab in the state. The lab was opened here last year.
“Although pressure of testing swab samples for Covid-19 has reduced these days, an additional responsibility will be put on the lab as we have to conduct the respiratory panel infection test here. We hope to conduct this test in a successful manner,” said Sarkar.
A doctor posted at the NBMCH said the test is important to provide necessary treatment to patients having respiratory problems due to viral infection. “Detection of viruses can help in streamlining the treatment which eventually will reduce death rate.”