Thursday, December 3, 2020
Home States Telangana Discrepancies in corona tests and data from private labs

Discrepancies in corona tests and data from private labs

Top health officials of Telangana have said that they did not take stringent action against the 13 private laboratories in Hyderabad where coronavirus tests were conducted and discrepancies had shown up in results so that people who want to avail their services were not deprived. The names of the labs were not disclosed.

A few of the discrepancies reported were violations in quality controls, high Test Positivity Rate of around 72% in some labs, violations in the way pool sampling was conducted, variations in data — on number of samples tested and cases detected — submitted to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), State portals and the lab registers.

State’s Director of Public Health (DPH) G. Srinivasa Rao said that they gave notices to 13 labs. “Most of them have rectified their mistakes and the remaining are in the process of rectifying,” Dr. Rao said at a press conference held at Command Control Centre in State Health Campus on Saturday.

When asked how would they validate if there have been any false positives and false negatives during these tests at the private labs, the question was left unanswered at the press conference.

Major difference

Around 10 days after the State government officials permitted private labs in the State to conduct coronavirus tests, the DPH stated in the daily medical bulletin on June 25 that they have observed serious abnormalities in COVID-19 test results uploaded by private labs.

Four teams of microbiologists and senior officials inspected 16 private labs in Hyderabad where they checked various aspects such as infection control measures, infrastructure, human resources, and others such as general hygiene.

A report on the inspections was submitted which was examined by an Expert Committee of Microbiology professors along with senior officials from the Health department. Major findings of the report was published in the medical bulletin on June 26.

Pooled sample

The Committee suspected that a few labs did not follow correct procedure in conducting pooled samples tests.

To augment the number of samples tested for the purpose of surveillance, ICMR issued an advisory according to which five samples can be pooled for tests when prevalence rate of infection is low.

The pool will be considered as one sample. If the pool tests negative, all 5 samples are regarded as negative. If the pool tests positive, then all 5 samples have to be tested individually to know how many of them are positive.

The Expert Committee who examined the inspection report suspected that some labs conducted pool testing and when a pool tested positive, all samples were declared as positive without doing individual testing leading to some negatives also being declared as positive.

Staff training

Some more ‘major findings’ mentioned in the report are that there was clear evidence that staff conducting tests in some labs have not been trained properly in RTPCR testing for COVID-19.

“Measures for quality control and validation of tests were not followed in some of the labs. Lack of safety measures: Staff were not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), safety cabinets were not available,” were some of the major findings in the report. An expert committee was supposed to conduct further inspections.

On Saturday, Dr. Rao said that a private laboratory in Himayatnagar reported a Positivity Rate of around 72% which is high while it is not more than 25% in government labs. The data from the lab is kept under abeyance.

The senior health official said that they will not hesitate to shut down the labs if the issues or abnormalities in the reporting are not rectified.

State’s Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy said at the press conference that their expert committee is evaluating the issue which will help in deciding which data is accurate.

You have reached your limit for free articles this month.

To get full access, please subscribe.

Already have an account ? Sign in

Show Less Plan

Subscription Benefits Include

Today’s Paper

Find mobile-friendly version of articles from the day’s newspaper in one easy-to-read list.

Faster pages

Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly.

Unlimited Access

Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations.


A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences.

Personalised recommendations

A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.


We brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day.

*Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper ,crossword, iPhone, iPad mobile applications and print. Our plans enhance your reading experience.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

HSE Interview Questions & Answers

What is Safety? The condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury is Called Safety. What is the accident? It is an...

Putham Pudhu Kaalai trailer: Five Tamil filmmakers bring five stories of love in the time of Covid-19

The trailer of Amazon Prime’s upcoming Tamil film Putham Pudhu Kaalai was unveiled on Monday by filmmaker Mani Ratnam and composer A.R Rahman. Tamil...

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Set to Launch in India Tomorrow

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is set to launch in India on Tuesday, October 6, the company confirmed to Gadgets 360. The phone debuted globally...