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With migrants return, 2 Covid test centres in Steel City test over 1,500 samples

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The Times Of India
23rd May, 2020 05:00 IST

Jamshedpur: With close to 5,000 migrants returning to their homes in the three districts of Kolhan division, the two Covid-19 testing centres in Steel City — Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College and Hospital (MGMMCH) and Tata Main Hospital (TMH) — have seen a surge in the number of swab samples being tested daily.

Earlier, MGMMCH would test 250 samples every day but ever since the migrants have returned, the state-run hospital now tests 500 samples each day. TMH, the only private hospital here approved for testing coronavirus samples, is now testing 130 samples a day when till the first week of May, it was testing 70 samples every day.

West Singhbhum deputy commissioner Arava Rajkamal said, “Over half of the 3,000 samples collected from the district so far are from the returning migrants.” He added, “With thousands expected to arrive in Kolhan in the next few days, the priority is to get them tested first before moving on to random testing.”

MGMMCH principal Prashant Kumar Barla said, “Currently, there are two RT-PCR diagnostic testing machines at the virology department but we will need another machine to speed up the testing as scores of migrants are expected to return to Kolhan. He added that he has taken up the requirement for more testing machines with the state government through dedicated forums.

MGMMCH is currently testing samples from East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Khunti and Simdega.

“More and more tests is key in order to be certain about the exact number of Covid-19 cases in our surroundings. Thus, we need to increase number of the tests and for that, high-end machinery is required,” said IMA Jamshedpur functionary Mrityunjay Singh.

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