People are seen collecting swab samples on their own for COVID-19 tests in a government hospital at Jangipur in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district on Saturday, as no staff of the medical establishment is available to do it. A senior health department official said that a report was sought from the Jangipur Hospital on the matter.
A number of people were seen inserting swabs inside their throat, unsure about how to do it, and, after collecting the saliva, keeping them inside a sterile tube. Only one person from the hospital is noting down their personal details. “I have to collect the swab sample on my own. It was quite a difficult task but after two or three attempts I managed to do it. I do not know whether or not it was correctly collected. I have kept the sample there,” a woman said.
She said that she came for the COVID-19 test as her mother has tested positive for the infection. The person who was writing down the details of the people coming for tests claimed that he is an employee of the hospital.
Since most of the staff of the hospital, including the superintendent, were either sick or absent, patients have to collect the swab samples themselves, he said. Asked whether the people who have no knowledge about how to collect swab samples were able to do the job, the person said, “That is no problem. I am overseeing what they are doing. All have been correctly collected.” “We have heard about the incident and sought a report from the hospital authorities why patients are conducting the swab tests on their own. We will take appropriate action if any negligence is found,” a senior official of the health department said when contacted.
Polling in the Jangipur assembly constituency in Murshidabad district has been rescheduled following the death of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) candidate Pradip Kumar Nandi, who had tested positive for COVID-19, on April 16. An eight-phase assembly election is underway in West Bengal and two phases are left.
Murshidabad on Saturday registered one fatality due to COVID-19 taking the death toll to 171, while 587 fresh infections pushed the district’s caseload to 17,528, the health department said.