Mangaluru: Increased COVID-19 testing results in more confusion

Team Udayavani, Aug 3, 2020, 5:32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Many COVID-19 test reports in the Dakshina Kannada district have thrown out more confusion to the people tested and the facilities testing them. This is due to the anomalies of those reports: when the same subject’s samples are tested at two different laboratories both results are not the same.

Two examples of such confusion occurred recently with the test reports of a person from Ganjimatha and a businessman from Sullia. Both had tested positive and negative in consecutive days of testing done at different hospitals.

Such anomalies are fueling further scepticism of the COVID-19 testing facilities in the district.

Experts argue that when a subject’s sample reports positive at first and negative in a second test or vice versa it may be because of the reduction or increase in the virus load or improper collection of samples.

The Sullia businessman stated that when his samples tested positive for COVID-19 at a private hospital he got his samples collected at the hospital again but sent it another laboratory for testing where the test reported negative.

He asked how could it happen when the staff who collected his samples were the same.

District health officials stated that as RT-PCR tests are expensive Rapid Antigen testing is conducted when hundreds of samples are to be tested from an area. However, Rapid Antigen test reports are not final. If a subject’s sample’s tests negative in the antigen test but the subject shows symptoms then their samples are tested again in the RT-PCR tests where the results are likely to be positive. However, as people are unaware of the difference between these two tests, they might suspect the results of both the tests.

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