Covid claims two more taking second wave's 2-week toll to 4



Gangtok, 26 Apr: Two more Covid-positive patients passed away in Sikkim today taking the State's cumulative death toll due to the virus to 140. In as far as Covid's second wave in Sikkim is concerned,

this surge, which is now two weeks old in the State, has claimed four lives thus far. Both the deaths were reported from STN Hospital, the primary Covid-dedicated hospital in Sikkim. As per data released by the Health Department, there are 78 Covid patients currently admitted at STNM Hospital at present, two of whom are in the ICU. Six Covid patients are currently admitted at District Hospital, Mangan, as well.

Accepting that the second wave began in Sikkim on 12 April, in the two weeks that have passed since, Sikkim has detected 901 new cases. A new week began today with only 23 new cases being picked up. This was, however, not because infections are down but because fewer tests were conducted on Sunday, a day when both the VRD Labs in the State - the ones at STNM Hospital and CRH-Tadong -

are closed on Sundays. 15 of the new cases were reported from East Sikkim, four from South,

three from West and one from North Sikkim. It will not be surprising to learn that the administration,

which has been less than effective in finding real solutions to the Covid challenge, has not done enough to manage the human resource required to keep the VRD Labs in operation seven days a week at least during a surge like the present one. One also recognizes that personnel at the VRD Labs need rest, but given that this is an emergency situation, couldn't one of the officials tasked with devising the State’s Covid-response have ensured that the two labs take their weekly off on different days of the week so that RT-PCR tests - the gold standard for Covid detection - could continue without pause through the week? Or does the executive not agree that knowing the extent of Covid's spread is important to know

as quickly as possible? The 23 new cases reported on Monday were from 95 samples screened via Trunat/ CBNAAT and Rapid Antigen Testing on Sunday. For context, sample this - on Saturday, the VRD Labs screened 552 samples, 120 of which [out of 148 reported yesterday] had returned positive. Meanwhile, as per data at hand, the second wave of Covid in Sikkim has registered a Case Fatality Rate of 0.43% [percentage of deaths from number of cases detected]. While every loss of life is traumatic, it needs to also be mentioned here that the national CFR for the second wave is substantially higher

at 1.12%. On the vaccination front, 3,824 doses of Covishield were administered at 63 vaccination sites established across the State. With this, Sikkim has now administered nearly 1.90 lakh vaccine shots - of these, while 34,257 people have completed their vaccine schedule having received both the shots while 1,55,696 people have received only the first shot thus far.