Centre is not providing necessary equipment for COVID-19 tests: West Bengal chief secretary

West Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha on Wednesday said that it was not true that the state government had been lax and deliberately conducted less tests for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). He alleged that necessary equipment had not been provided by the Centre for the tests.

Enough RNA-extraction kits were not being provided by the Centre to conduct molecular tests, he said. The state had been conducting the tests with extraction kits procured solely through its independent efforts, Sinha said. If the state had not made timely plans for procuring the extraction kits, then it would not have been able to conduct even the number of tests done till date, Sinha added. So far, 7,037 tests have been done in the state for COVID-19.

The state government has ordered for 45,000 viral transmission media (VTM) which are needed for the tests. Sinha alleged that the Centre has not provided enough VTMs to carry out the required number of tests.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Bengal at present is 300 with 26 new cases found in last 24 hours. So far, 79 persons have recovered from COVID-19 and discharged.

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