While saying that attempts are made by certain private sector hospitals to carry out PCR and antigen tests at regional testing places and mini laboratories without the authorization from the Health Ministry, General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army said testing methodology has been twisted in some private Hospitals.
He expressed this during a meeting held with representatives of private sector laboratory technicians to discuss the possibility of implementing a common regulatory mechanism to conduct antigen and PCR tests.
"Only 30 technically-equipped such laboratories are authorized by the Health Department to carry out such tests in accordance with approved provisions and guidelines because concerns have been expressed as regards the reliability and accuracy of such tests by certain affected parties since they sometimes provide contradictory results. Only yesterday alone, 18,000 PCR tests were performed although the private sector charges, i.e Rs 6750 for BOI company employees remain unchanged,” the Army Commander said.
“It is much better if those existing price ranges for such tests can be further reduced for the benefit of the masses," he pointed out. Army Commander also urged them not to misuse the authority that has been given to them.
He also told the gathering that Health authorities allowed the private sector hospitals to conduct PCR tests on the tourists from Ukraine as a pilot project.
Meanwhile, Dr Asela Gunawardena requested those top management technicians to strictly adhere to guidelines and regulations to this effect and ensure credibility of the testing methodology at their highest levels without resorting to wrong practices.