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Raju Bista in north Bengal coronavirus test push

Darjeeling MP claimed that he found out that thousands of samples collected are lying untested at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital
Raju Bista

Vivek Chhetri   |   Darjeeling   |   Published 30.05.20, 08:52 PM

Darjeeling MP Raju Bista of the BJP has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on “the urgent need to start move Covid testing laboratories” in north Bengal.

Bista arrived in his constituency on the “first flight” from Delhi to Bagdogra on Thursday and is currently in home quarantine in Siliguri.

The MP said in a written statement: “I have found out that thousands of samples collected for testing Covid-19 are lying untested at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital since May 17.”

Bista claimed that the results of four positive cases from the Kurseong sub-division that were released on Friday “are apparently from the samples tested on May 18”. He feared that the delay in testing could result in “exponential increase in Covid numbers in north Bengal”.

“In my letter, I have requested for the establishment of more Covid testing laboratories in district hospitals of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri Govt Hospital, and also permit private hospitals to conduct COVID-19 tests,” Bista said in the statement, adding that he had also demanded that testing facilities in the region be upgraded to clear all backlogs.

Anit Thapa, the chairman of the board of administrators of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, welcomed “Bista’s decision” but in a sarcasm-laden tone hoped that it would not be like any other of his “280 letters”.

“Till date the BJP MP of Darjeeling has written about 280 letters to different ministers and to various ministries and I hope the letter dated 20/05/2020 with reference number Darj/GN/287 is not yet another letter, but I hope it’s a letter for action for setting up a testing lab in the GTA region,” Thapa said in a written statement.


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