Covid app glitch has studies combined up

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 13

Gurminder Singh (identify modified) of the Ragho Majra space right here was in for a impolite shock when the well being authorities knowledgeable him on Sunday morning he had examined constructive for Covid-19. This got here a day after he acquired an automatic message from the Punjab Government that his ‘RT-PCR sample’ had examined destructive.

Civil Surgeon Dr Harish Malhotra blamed it on a technical glitch within the “RT-PCR application” that generated a standard Specimen Referral Form (SRF) ID of a affected person even when two separate samples — for speedy antigen check and RT-PCR — have been taken.

Health Dept knowledgeable

We have been receiving studies of confusion amongst sufferers. We have already raised the matter with the state Health Department—Dr Sumeet Singh, Epidemiologist

“I have asked the authorities to stop the automated messages as it creates confusion among people,” he mentioned.

Gurminder, 40, refused to consider the check outcome amid rumours that docs have been intentionally declaring wholesome folks constructive. Health officers needed to counsel him for hours earlier than he agreed for dwelling isolation.

“I was relaxing with my family after the negative report on Saturday. This morning, they said I had tested positive. I got convinced only after they (Health Department) explained there were two samples and the confirmatory test had tested positive,” he mentioned.

An investigation by The Tribune revealed sufferers had been getting automated messages of check outcomes of RT-PCR even earlier than the samples went for testing to the Government Medical College lab.

The Health Department claimed the primary message to sufferers was of the speedy antigen check and never the RT-PCR, the usual check for Covid-19. The message erroneously confirmed it as RT-PCR outcome.

A medical officer, explaining the method, mentioned: “We take two samples (RT- PCR and antigen) in circumstances of high-risk and symptomatic sufferers. It takes 15 minutes for the antigen check to return via.

“But when we submit the antigen test result on the RT-PCR application, it shows as RT-PCR sample, instead of antigen. Thereafter, when the RT-PCR sample test report comes from the lab, and if it contradicts with earlier test of antigen, it fuels mistrust among people.”

Antigen check proven as RT-PCR

  • Two samples for RT-PCR and speedy antigen check are taken in high-risk circumstances. Antigen check outcome comes out in 15 minutes
  • Due to glitch, a standard Specimen Referral Form ID of a affected person is generated even when two separate samples are taken
  • When the results of antigen check is uploaded on govt’s RT-PCR app, it’s erroneously proven as that of RT-PCR

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