Covid-19 confirmatory tests at the microbiology department of Medical College Hospital (MCH) have been suspended for an indefinite period at a time when hundreds of coronavirus suspects across districts and city rush to the MCH to get their swab samples tested everyday.

Sources in the administrative block at the MCH said today that the authorities have decided to stop Covid confirmatory tests in the microbiology laboratory owing to some technical snags in the machines installed there. But a medical teacher in the microbiology department of the hospital said that there might be chances of infections in kits used for tests in the laboratory.

The lab requires thorough sanitisations process that may take couple of days to sanitise the entire unit and then normal work to conduct tests will be resumed, he added requesting anonymity. With steep hike in number of cases the state government has made the MCH a premier novel coronavirus treatment centre accommodating around 500 indoor beds for COVID patients in some buildings inside the hospital complex.

Every day, swab samples of around 70 COVID suspects are tested at the MCH laboratory. Showing Covid-19 symptoms many suspects who have rushed to the hospital lab for confirmatory tests today have been denied tests. Mr Shankar Bala, a 48 yearold Covid suspect of Barrackpore, came to the MCH today for swab sample examination after his cancer-affected wife who is undergoing treatment at the hospital contracted the killer viral infection.

“My wife undergoing cancer treatment here also contracted coronavirus infections. Locals in my area have sent me to this hospital so that I can also undergo Covid confirmatory test here. But I told that the tests have been stopped for few days because machines installed in the laboratory are not working,” Mr Bala said.

“I won’t be allowed to go back to my residential area if I can’t show documents related to my Covid test done at the MCH to my neighbourhood. I don’t know how do I spend the night,” he said with sheer anxiety. Dr I Biswas, medical super cum vice principal (MSVP) of the MCH, was not available for comment.