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Septuagenarian erroneously declared COVID-19 positive in Meghalaya

The patient had complained of respiratory problems and was admitted to a private hospital, he said.

Published: 18th June 2020 02:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2020 02:54 PM   |  A+A-

coronavirus sample testing

Representational image. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

SHILLONG: A 72-year-old man was erroneously declared as having tested positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya, which officials have attributed to a mechanical error.

The man, from Umsamlem village in Ri-Bhoi district, was declared a COVID-19 patient on June 9 after his samples tested positive for the infection in an RT-PCR test, an official said.

The patient had complained of respiratory problems and was admitted to a private hospital, he said.

"Following the outcome of the test, we started contract tracing but none of his contacts tested positive for COVID-19. This made us curious and RT-PCR and rapid antibody tests were subsequently conducted on him. This time, the results returned negative for the infection," state Health Services Director Aman War told PTI.

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More tests were conducted on the man and all the results have returned negative for COVID-19, he said.

Officials of the state health department and the response team met on Tuesday night and concluded he was a "false COVID-19 positive" case, War said.

"The RT-PCR machines are 99 per cent accurate. The case of this man falls in remaining one per cent category where a machine can give inaccurate results," War said.

The patient, however, is still admitted to the hospital for treatment of his other ailments.

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