• Sunday, Nov 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:37 am

Lab takes blame for Covid-19 test mishap of Shajahan Khan's daughter

  • Published at 05:21 pm July 27th, 2020
Coronavirus test stethoscope doctor mask
Photo: Bigstock

She was stopped from boarding a London flight on Sunday following inconsistencies in her test report

The National Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Referral Centre (NILMRC) has taken responsibility for issuing the wrong result in Oaishee Khan’s Covid-19 test, which led her to think she had been cleared to board a flight to London.

NILMRC Director Prof Abul Khair Mohammad Shamsuzzaman told Dhaka Tribune on Monday that her report was actually positive and a report declaring her coronavirus negative was uploaded on the server due to technical glitches.

“The negative result input was made on July 25 at 6:30pm. Later, we found that it was not the right test result. We updated the server instantly,” he said.

Dr Abul Khair said the institute had sent her corrected test report and overseas patients’ correct test reports to DNCC, Management Information System (MIS) and immigration server.

“I don’t know how she had collected the incorrect report. But we have to admit that in the first place it was our fault,” he said.

DGHS opens inquiry

At an online media call, Director General of DGHS ABM Khurshid said that the virus was identified through RT-PCR tests and there was a percentage of false negatives as well.

“We have already received a complaint,” he confirmed, and said he also spoke with Oaishee’s father, former minister and senior Awami League leader Shajahan Khan.

“After the complaint was received, a team was assigned to look into the matter and it will submit its report tomorrow (Tuesday),” he said.

“After receiving the report, necessary measures will be taken. If it is our fault, we will acknowledge it and if it is a machinery fault then that will be addressed,” the official held out the assurance.

“We will find a proper solution to the problem and if it is an intentional error, the culprit will not go unpunished,” he said.

Oaishee was stopped from boarding a flight to London on Sunday. The certificate she produced at the immigration said she had not been diagnosed with Covid-19 but the database showed she had tested positive.

Asked, Oaishee told Dhaka Tribune that she had collected the report from the test centre at DNCC market on July 25.

Earlier, Shajahan Khan, a member of the ruling party’s policy-making Presidium, told the press that he would go for legal measures if the DGHS did not take action against the officials responsible.

However, statements from the NILMRC seems to indicate that the test report was simply wrong rather than forged.

Oaishee writes to DGHS

On Monday, Oaishee filed a complaint with the DGHS stating that she could not go back to her university in the UK as flights were suspended due to coronavirus.  

After the flights resumed she booked a ticket for the July 26 flight and provided samples for the virus test at the DNCC Coronavirus Isolation Centre in Mohakhali on July 24 as a negative certificate was mandatory for travel abroad.

The negative result was published on a website on July 25 and was collected in hard copy from the isolation centre.

Later at the airport she learned that the report did not match with the server.

She had no symptoms and led a normal life with her family members earlier.

“My father traveled to the airport in the same car. As a result, my family and I are worried that my father will be at risk. I have also been embarrassed by the negative and misleading news about my father in various media, which is an unforgivable crime,” she said.

She asked the authorities to properly investigate such misreporting and take necessary legal action against those responsible and to prevent unnecessary harassment of people in the future.

On Sunday, the former minister’s daughter used the VIP entrance of the departure terminal, where her certificate was not cross-checked at the health desk. She was sent back by immigration when her test results came out as positive on the database.

On the day, a senior DGHS official said the Covid-19 certificate Oaishee produced at the immigration was not authentic. It did not have a QR code and was signed by one Dr Md Bayzid Bin Monir.

The official said the Covid-19 certificate recorded on the server was issued by the Management Information System (MIS), DGHS and was signed by the DGHS authorities.

“The certificate she [Oaishee] had was not authentic. The DGHS is not going to take responsibility,” the official told this newspaper that night.

Airport health in charge Dr Zaheer Islam said: “We have a lack of manpower at the VIP entrance, even though the government has appointed five doctors to check outbound passengers, including at the VIP entrance. When she entered, there was no health official on duty there.”

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