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Cyclone Amphan hits COVID-19 testing in Bengal; coronavirus death toll rises to 193; tally at 3,332


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Chennai:

KOLKATA: The number of samples tested for COVID-19 in West Bengal almost halved over the last two days, as most technicians could not reach laboratories making their way through thousands of trees and electric poles that lay scattered across the state, owing to the impact of Cyclone Amphan, a senior official said.

While the number of samples tested on Tuesday and Wednesday were 8,712 and 8,722, respectively, the count came down to 4,242 on Thursday and 5,355 on Friday, he said.

"Many laboratories chose not to operate on Wednesday evening as a precautionary measure against the cyclone.

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And on Thursday and Friday technicians at several places could not reach the laboratories due to blocked roads.

"In some areas, ambulances carrying the samples could not reach the laboratories. All this brought the testing numbers down," the health department official said.

West Bengal reported at least six more COVID-19 fatalities since Thursday, taking the death toll in the state to 193, a bulletin issued by the department said.

Four deaths were reported from the city and two from North 24 Parganas district, it said.

There are at least 1,846 active COVID-19 cases in West Bengal, while the total confirmed cases stood at 3,332, the bulletin said.

The count of those recovered from the disease in the state is 1,221.