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West Bengal govt accuses ICMR-NICED for providing defective COVID-19 test kits


Kolkata, Apr 20: Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has accused the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (ICMR-NICED) of providing it with defective COVID-19 test kits.

Mamata Banerjee

Taking to Twitter, the state health department said, "The apparently defective test kits supplied by ICMR-NICED, Kolkata, are resulting in a high number of repeat / confirmatory tests and causing delays and other attendant problems at a time when we are battling a pandemic."

West Bengal recorded its first coronavirus positive case on March 17, but it was only last week that the administration began to 'seal' some areas after identifying them as 'high-risk spots'. Experts have alleged that the West Bengal may have woken up late.

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In a report, senior cardiologist Kunal Sarkar said that identification of such 'micro-spots' would be of no use if the frequency of testing does not increase in time.

He further said that sample testing in India is quite low. And West Bengal has witnessed the sample testing exceptionally low. He also said that it is not a competition of low numbers.

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On an average the state has been testing about 200 samples per day. Shanta Dutta, the director of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED)- ICMR, said that the state government was not sending enough samples for testing.

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