Govt. Medical Lab Technologists want probe on false positive PCR reports

8 May 2020 01:31 pm - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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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.

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  • Srilankan Friday, 08 May 2020 09:06 PM

    This is positive /negative confusion as the doctors are weak in maths.

    Abdul Careem Mohomed Nisthar Friday, 08 May 2020 10:29 PM

    If a patient found positive on virus test, the family members insist the medical people to reconfirm the report from another medical lab,this will satisfy the both parties.

    Roger Saturday, 09 May 2020 12:33 PM

    The laboratory technologist seems to have got it all wrong. The interpretation of reports need real scientific approache. There ca be false positives and false negatives in any test . As far as this test is concerned there is 30% chance of test being false negative. As such the repeat test is likely to be false negative. The university academics have years of experience in doing these type of tests. Just because a person with political backing says something people must be careful to identify people who seek cheap popularity based on their ignorance


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