As Uttar Pradesh authorities ramps up COVID-19 testing and appears to incorporate extra non-public labs for it, questions are being raised on the reliability and accuracy of the checks carried out by non-public labs within the state.
Health officers in a number of districts informed The Indian Express that they’re retesting each affected person whose pattern has been confirmed COVID optimistic by a non-public lab. Sources within the state Health Department additionally confirmed that up to now, near 10 samples that have been declared optimistic by non-public labs turned out to be destructive when the samples from the identical individuals have been examined in authorities labs.
For instance, in Bahraich, two samples declared COVID-19 optimistic by a non-public lab have been discovered to be destructive. “Around three days ago, two samples sent to a private lab for testing were told to be positive. However, within 24 hours when the same samples were tested at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital ( a government lab), the results came out to be negative. The district administration is now discussing if any action has to be taken against the private lab. This was the only private lab conducting COVID tests in Bahraich and no test was conducted before this,” Bahraich Chief Medical Officer Suresh Kumar informed The Indian Express.
When requested why samples have been examined once more, Kumar mentioned that as per their coverage if any affected person is being admitted for coronavirus remedy at a authorities hospital, then their swab samples are taken once more and despatched to Lucknow for testing regardless of being earlier examined by a non-public lab.
Lucknow CMO Dr Narendra Agarwal concurred along with his Bahraich colleague, however on the identical time added that they’ve been doing the retests for all types of illness, be it dengue or malaria. “This is not something ordered by the government, but it is our own policy. We are retesting every single person who has been confirmed coronavirus positive by a private lab. So far, around seven tests were positive (from private labs) and we sent each one of the samples for a retest,” mentioned Lucknow CMO Dr Narendra Agarwal.
In Sitapur, too, an analogous incident was reported on May 1. In Noida, a pregnant lady, who was confirmed optimistic by a non-public lab final week, turned out to be freed from coronavirus an infection throughout a check at a authorities lab.
“As these incidents are happening very often the reliability of private labs in COVID testing is in question now,” Sitapur CMO Alok Verma mentioned.
A senior official of the state Health Department, on the situation of anonymity, mentioned that they’ve already halted COVID-19 testing at among the non-public labs for just a few days. “This is happening often with a particular private laboratory. Several of their tests that were reported positive were found to be negative when tested again in government laboratories. We are sending their results to NIV, Pune, for recalibration, and only after that, we would be able to say more about this. This happened in several districts, including Lucknow, and this is the reason whenever we find the private lab results even a bit fishy, we get it tested again at a government facility,” the senior official added.
According to the Health Department’s figures, over 1.13 lakh samples have been examined within the state up to now. Out of them, in accordance with information collected by The Indian Express, a minimum of 7,700 pattern outcomes have been from 5 non-public lab chains that have been granted permission to conduct COVID-19 checks. Among them, the best variety of samples – greater than 4,050 – have been examined by Pathkind Labs, adopted by Dr Lal PathLabs (2,200), RML Mehrotra Pathology (over 1000), Metropolis Labs (330) and SRL Diagnostics (60). All these non-public labs have their COVID pattern assortment centres in a number of districts.
The web sites of the non-public labs, authorized by the federal government to conduct coronavirus checks, state that assortment of samples and checks can occur provided that prescribed by a certified doctor. It has additionally been confirmed that as many of the 5 authorized labs have their testing centres within the National Capital Region (NCR), because of which check outcomes take 48 hours. The samples are typically collected from the individual’s residence after a reserving is made.
The authorities has fastened COVID-19 testing costs of personal labs at Rs 2500 per pattern for samples despatched by authorities hospitals and Rs 4,500 per pattern for personal people and samples despatched by non-public hospitals. At the identical time, non-COVID hospitals can get any suspected affected person examined by a non-public lab in accordance with the an infection prevention protocol, made obligatory by the federal government.
One of the non-public labs below lens is now getting confirmatory checks of its samples from KGMU, Lucknow.
“We are following everything as directed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). We are using the type of kits approved by the ICMR. We are also using the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) method, which is the standard procedure for COVID tests. There is no margin of error, but still we will be contacting the KGMU to confirm our tests. After that, we would be able to tell more about this,” mentioned a senior official non-public lab on the situation of anonymity.
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