The three were discharged by health authorities from a quarantine centre in Moga around noon.
While they were on their way back to their native village, Demru, the testing lab at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital (GGSMCH) Faridkot communicated to Moga health authorities that three of them were in fact coronavirus ‘positive’.
The reversal in diagnosis came at around 2 pm, almost two hours after the three had been allowed to leave the quarantine centre.
After the lab got back to Moga health authorities, ambulances were rushed and the three were intercepted at Demru just before reaching their homes and brought back.
In fact, the Faridkot lab had got not three, but 10 reports wrong on Tuesday. Thankfully, the seven others who were first declared negative and then positive were in home quarantine, and reversal of their diagnosis did not send the administration into a tizzy. These seven are all family members of 68-year old Nanded pilgrim from village Ghalauti, who had earlier tested positive.
Dr Gagandeep Singh, head of quarantine centres, Moga, said, “Nineteen reports were sent to us as ‘negative’ in the morning and around noon we discharged three patients from a quarantine centre. They were on their way to village Demru when around 2 pm we were told that they are in fact ‘positive’. Ten of nineteen people earlier declared ‘negative’, were declared ‘positive’ within hours. We had to call three patients again, send an ambulance to get them and stop them from meeting others.”
Another senior doctor from Moga said, “This was second such incident when Faridkot lab created confusion in reports and gave contradictory reports of same patients. No one is going to get angry or throw stones at the lab staff. But we deal with patients and we face their anger. It is not a joke to first tell a person that he/she is negative and hours later to tell them that they are positive. They raise a question mark on authenticity of reports.”
“We are helpless, simply helpless. Lok saanu patthar maaran nu firde (people are ready to throw stones at us),” said another senior doctor from Moga.
Two days back in Moga, a 29-year old Nanded pilgrim from Baghapurana, his three family members and a Dubai-returned NRI had received contradictory reports within four days. While the 29-year old was declared negative, positive and then negative again by the Faridkot lab, four others were first declared negative and then positive again. All five have now been retested and samples taken again Tuesday to clear confusion.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Raj Bahadur, V-C, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot and advisor for Punjab’s COVID-19 management programme, said that the mix-up happened due to a data entry error.
“Reports were not wrong. Those reported positive were positive only but yes we communicated them wrongly due to errors in data entry. Some samples which were positive were marked as negative and vice-versa. Staff has been directed to be more careful. It is dangerous if we declare positive as negative. Today there were some errors in data entry of Moga reports,” he said.
On Tuesday, after ten patients who were first declared ‘negative’ and then ‘positive’, Moga recorded ten new cases taking total active cases in district to 32.
7 kin of Nanded pilgrim test positive
Meanwhile, seven family members of a 68-year old Nanded pilgrim from village Ghalauti of Moga, who was sent home and had later tested positive, have now tested positive for novel cornonavirus.
“The reports of his seven family members including wife, sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren have come positive now. We have tested at least 50 contacts of this man who defied home quarantine after returning home and even visited OOAT centre in Kot Ise Khan to take medicine for his opium addiction. Staff members who attended him at OOAT centre have also been tested. He was among first batch that returned from Nanded,” said Dr Rakesh Bali, Senior Medical Officer (SMO), Kot Ise Khan.
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