Assam gets new testing lab at Guwahati Medical College Hospital as COVID-19 tally spikes

COVID-19 tally in Assam rose to 4,694 with 184 new cases reported on Wednesday.

Assam on Wednesday got a new testing lab at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital, the 12th in the state, as its COVID-19 tally rose to 4,694 with 184 new cases reported on Wednesday.

State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, however, said that the state's COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to over 57 per cent with 231 patients discharged from hospitals on Wednesday, taking the total recoveries to 2,642, exceeding the number of active cases- 2,041 as on Wednesday.

Of the 4,694 patients confirmed with coronavirus, as many as eight people have died and three others have migrated out, the minister said.

Meanwhile, Assam today has 12 Covid-19 testing laboratories with the inauguration of the new testing laboratory at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) on Wednesday.

The new VRDL lab with bio-safety cabinet has a capacity of conducting 400-500 tests daily, Sarma said.

The minister also inaugurated the Digital Mammography Radiology Department at GMCH and launched Assam Targeted Surveillance Program (ATSP), affordable and sterile Viral Transport Media (VTM) kits, RT-PCR kits and RNA isolation kits developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.

Sarma termed the launching of the ATSP a crucial step towards combating COVID-19 effectively.

"We aim to conduct more than 50,000 random tests in a week's time, targeting vulnerable areas", the minister said, adding that under ATSP, swab samples of workers at truck parking areas, loading and unloading centres, godowns, weighbridges and dhabas will be collected and tested.

Sarma said that ATSP will also cover staff of hotels which are being used as institutional quarantine centres, frontline officials like police personnel, family members and co-residents of homes of people who have been released from quarantine.

First Published:June 18, 2020, 9:07 a.m.