Twenty-five of the 28 UK returnees who had tested positive for COVID-19 tested negative after 24 hours.
The sudden change in the test results has created confusion among people in Sylhet over the accuracy of the COVID-19 testing procedure in the district.
Sylhet district civil surgeon Premananda Mandal told New Age that samples of the 28 travellers, who had arrived from the United Kingdom recently and tested positive at a private hospital, were tested at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology laboratory on Tuesday and 25 of them were found negative.
He said that the 28 people had been tested positive for COVID-19 when samples of 157 passengers had been diagnosed at private Simantik Hospital at Shahjalal Upa-Shahar in the city on Sunday.
He said that the 157 Bangladeshi-origin travellers had reached the Sylhet Osmani International Airport from the Heathrow Airport of London by a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on January 21 and had been in institutional quarantine in different hotels.
To become sure about the test results of the Simantik Hospital, samples of the 28 people and another one, who had come on January 18 and tested positive, were sent to the SUST lab Tuesday morning, Premananda said.
‘The SUST lab authorities informed us Tuesday night that only three of the group of 28 tested positive for COVID-19, and the rest one was also tested negative,’ he said.
Sylhet divisional health office assistant director Anisur Rahman told New Age that a team of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research had arrived in Sylhet from Dhaka Tuesday evening and they returned after taking samples of the UK travellers to find out what virus variant had infected the travellers.
‘All of the 29 UK travellers have been kept in the institutional quarantine till now and the decision to send them to their respective home would be taken after receiving their test reports from the IEDCR,’ he said Wednesday evening, adding that the reports might be received in the night.
Simantik Hospital deputy executive director Humayun Ahmed told New Age that they were still in dark whether there was any fault in their testing procedure.
‘The IEDCR team visited our hospital lab. We are also waiting for their reports to identify the lacking responsible for the variation in the test results,’ he said.
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