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False positive problems in Yala

Samui Times Editor



False positive problems in Yala | Samui Times
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A second test in Yala on Sunday pointed out that 40 of the recently reported Covid-19 cases were false positive, as the Ministry of Public Health decided to run another check on its main laboratory, leaving no room for doubt.

Officials are also investigating what went wrong in the Yala laboratory because monitored research equipment has been reported as contaminated.

The cases discovered in the process of rigorous research or “active case finding” gained concern from the public and health officials, who were shocked by the infection increase.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesperson said Monday that in all 40 cases, the second tests performed by a laboratory at the Songkhla Medical Science Centre were negative.

But he said the result of those cases would not be confirmed until a third test is run, adding samples will be sent to the Department of Medical Sciences for testing.

“The 40 cases in Yala were not confirmed today pending an examination of the process,” he said to the press conference, stressing that there would be no cover-up.

A Provincial Health office source who asked not to be named said a survey is underway on Monday to find out what went wrong.

The source suggested that many factors would lead to false positives, including the possibility of trace samples from old tests or an unstable run.

The source also said that the Yala laboratory will not be used is for testing for the time being and that instead, the samples are sent to the laboratory in Songkla.

Deputy Minister for Public Health, Sathit Pitutecha said that a team of investigators have been sent to Yala on Monday to figure out what happened during testing.

“We must find an answer. It can be the solution liquids, the interpretation of the test results or even a machine error,” he said.

Supat Hasuwannakit, Songkhla’s director of Chana District Hospital, wrote on Facebook that the virus has been identified in the No Template Control” tube of the RT-PCR, which is claimed to be virus free.

But Dr Supat, a prominent government critic, also said that there is no cover-up in the reporting of results.

The Yala Provincial Public Health Office confirmed no new infections on Monday, with 126 cases reporting that 99 patients had been discharged from the hospital. Two deaths have been reported in the province.

Yala is an epicentre with 126 confirmed cases in the southernmost provinces. Its numbers are only behind Bangkok, Phuket and Nonthaburi.

Health officials in Yala are battling against Covid-19 during Ramadan in the hopes Muslims will be free to celebrate at the end of their holy month of fasting.

The province is performing active case findings in all districts, targeting risk groups including returning citizens from neighbouring countries.

In the district of Bannang Sata, health officials made second active case findings on Monday and are now targeting more than 800 people.

In the meantime, on Monday the CCSA registered 18 new cases involving Covid-19 illegal immigrants detained in Songkhla district of Sadao.

New cases are identified as Rohingya, including a 10-year-old child whose mother did not have the virus. Since then, the second floor of the detention center has become a field hospital.

Monday was the first day after the outbreak that Thai people did not register cases.

The confirmed case was 2,987 on Monday and the death toll was 54.

Sophon Iamsirithavorn, head of the Communicable Disease Division, cautioned that there will be a rise in new cases over the next week now that certain restrictions have been relaxed.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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  • Total Cases: 3261
  • Active Cases: 98
  • Recovered: 3105
  • Deaths: 58
  • Last Updated: 23-07-2020 at 04:12