Manipur: Three staff of JNIMS COVID-19 lab test positive; operation resumes after brief halt

Of the 17 testing facilities in Manipur, JNIMS is one of the two main testing facilities after the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

JNIMS hospital, Imphal (PHOTO: IFP)

Three of the five doctors of Covid-19 testing laboratory at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal tested positive for the viral infection. As a result, the JNIMS laboratory, one of the main testing facilities in Manipur, briefly stopped its operation.

JNIMS director Dr Th. Bhimo, confirming the report clarified that the laboratory resumed operation on Tuesday.

The three who have tested positive included a senior doctor who is leading the laboratory team in conducting the tests since the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic, said Bhimo. However, the director informed that to keep the laboratory up and running, the nodal officer pitched in to assist the two remaining lab staff.

“We have started testing operations on Tuesday. The reason why the test result was not reflected in the IDSP update as the laboratory received the samples very late. We must also keep in mind that not only we are now facing shortage of manpower but the senior doctor leading the team tested positive”, said the JNIMS director. He said people can expect test samples report from JNIMS by Wednesday.

The update in the state’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) is also showing that JNIMS has not conducted Covid-19 tests since Monday. This has triggered a cause of concern with Manipur witnessing an alarming number of Covid-19 positive cases and deaths.

“The doctors despite being tested positive finished their work till Saturday before they went for Isolation. We must respect selfless acts shown by the doctors who are still human beings”, said Dr Th. Bhimo.

The shortage of Manipur power confronting the JNIMS Covid lab apparently could slow down the testing pace when the state is witnessing a continued surge in fresh positive cases.

Of the 17 testing facilities in the state, JNIMS is one of the two main testing facilities after the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) that has the capacity to conduct about 1000 test samples in 24 hours while the rest are private diagnostic labs, private and district hospitals.

On Tuesday as many as 624 fresh cases of Covid-19 were reported out of the 3,201 test samples results tested while 20 died due to Covid-19 complication. 

First Published:May 18, 2021, 10 p.m.

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