Hundreds mistakenly receive Covid negative results — Analysis

The error of informing over 400 people that they had tested positive for Covid in Sydney, Australia just before Christmas was attributed to human error. PCR testing proved that the patients were indeed infected.

Patients who were swabbed at the SydPath pathology centers of St Vincent’s Hospital on December 22 and 23 received text messages with incorrect results from the laboratory, the hospital in New South Wales (NSW) revealed on Sunday. More than 400 patients were assured they weren’t infected by the contagious illness, but they actually tested positive.

Officials at the hospital said that a special response team had been arranged. People affected have been contacted and the source of the problem is under investigation. It is so far “Human error is believed to have caused the incident,” according to a statement from the medical facility.

One of the patients who received an incorrect negative result on Christmas Day, said he felt unwell and believed “It must not be the PCR test,” but was reassured by his doctor to trust the test, not himself. ABC reported that the man felt worse and rushed himself to the hospital. After a quick antigen test, the patient was found to be Covid-positive and was taken to hospital.

READ MORE: Australians urged not to ‘panic and overreact’ over Omicron 

The laboratory’s medical director, Professor Anthony Dodds, blamed the mishap on “A large number of tests” being carried out. Local media reports that Covid testing services have become overwhelmed due to high demand. They are currently taking around 145,000 samples per day. Because of their limited capacity, some people have been turned away from the testing facilities. 

This week, the state registered new records for coronavirus infection cases. On Friday, there were approximately 7,000 reported cases, up slightly from the 5,600 registered on Friday.

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