No new Covid-19 cases at Bihar’s NMCH, classes stalled, exams put on hold
- After the death of a 2016-batch final-year MBBS student at the NMCH, Shubhendu Shubham (23), who had contracted the virus, the state health department had advised the medical college to get real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) test of all medicos done.
None of the 441 swab samples of students of the Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH), collected on Wednesday, tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday even as the institute suspended MBBS classes and put on hold internal examinations after 10 students tested positive for the virus between February 25 and March 3.
However, a repeat test of five samples, which had tested positive a couple of days back, were again found to be positive, said Dr Sanjay Kumar, associate professor of the microbiology department.
After the death of a 2016-batch final-year MBBS student at the NMCH, Shubhendu Shubham (23), who had contracted the virus, the state health department had advised the medical college to get real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) test of all medicos done. Shubham, who tested positive for the virus on February 25, died at his hometown Begusarai on March 1.
“We have so far tested 541 samples for SARS CoV-2 between March 1 and 3 of which nine were positive. We tested 441 new samples on Wednesday, and all were found to be negative,” said Dr Kumar.
The state health authorities have sent samples of those who tested positive to a virology laboratory in Bhubaneswar.
“We are trying to ascertain if this is a new strain of the virus or similar to the one in Mumbai and Kerala. The samples, which tested positive, have been sent to Bhubaneswar for strain mapping,” said associate professor of medicine Dr Ajay Kumar Sinha, also the nodal officer for Covid-19 at NMCH.
Doctors also suspect the medico who died may have contracted the virus from the nearby crowded market areas, where he, his batch mates said, had gone without wearing a mask.
“All our classes and internal exams have been suspended till further notice. However, the first professional university examination of the Aryabhatta Knowledge University began on Thursday,” one of his batch mates said.
NMCH principal Dr Hiralal Mahto said that as per order of principal secretary (health) Pratyaya Amrit, all postgraduate and undergraduate classes had been suspended for a week. “We will have the exams after Holi festival when the students return from their hometown,” said Dr Mahto.