About thirteen Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests conducted by the laboratories other than the laboratories of the Health Ministry so far had been found to be erroneous, the Association of Government Medical Laboratory Technologists said yesterday.
Association Chairman Ravi Kumudesh said that eight PCR tests conducted by the laboratory at Sri Jayawardhanepura University, four reports by the Colombo University and one from the Kotalawala Defence University (KDU) were among those found to be erroneous.
He said a special grade nurse of the National Hospital, an individual from Salamulla in Kolonnawa, another one from Bandaranaikepura in Rajagiriya and a woman from Modara were recently tested positive for COVID-19 due to erroneous reports. However, subsequent tests reported negative.
He said in the letter that the first samples of the patients were sent to the labs coming under Ministry of Higher Education despite the fact that several previous PCR reports done at these labs were found to be erroneous.
“It could be an act of sabotage and it should be investigated,” he said.
He said this situation would deteriorate the confidence people had on PCR tests and laboratory technologists.
“No report issued by the Health Ministry laboratories had been erroneous so far,” he said.
“Ten laboratories of the Health Ministry are equipped to conduct PCR tests and around 200 professional technologists are ready at any time to attend to the service,” he said.
Mr Kumudesh said his Association had informed this situation in writing to the President and other authorities.
Mr Kumudesh said this situation had risen when there were ample facilities at the Health Ministry to conduct the PCR test and added that the officials who refer the test outside the Health Ministry laboratories should take the responsibility and disciplinary action should be taken against them.