Suspense looms in society after all family members tested negative again of covid-19 patients
Hill Quest News
Hamirpur, April 25
Were two persons in the district really positive for corona? The question had started haunting people in the district and even the credibility of the tests of both the patients was under suspense. The suspicion was further endorsed after samples of family members of both patients were repeatedly tested negative.
Significantly, two persons including one woman from near Hamirpur Town and other man from village near Jolsappar in the district were tested positive for corona virus on April 17. Both patients were picked up by the district administration in the mid night and shifted to covid- center at Radhaswami Charitable Hospital at Bhota.
As many as 370 samples of primary and secondary contacts of both patients were collected in next two days and all were tested negative. When all 370 samples were tested negative and no recent travel history of both patients was recorded, administration could not establish the source of infection to both patients. To be sure about the health of all family members of covid-19 patients the administration decided to again collect the samples of family members of both patients. But even in the second test report no sign of corona virus was found in the samples of family members.
The travel History so far
Police had thoroughly investigated the travel history of both the patients. It also did repeated investigation of their mobile records and GPS locations. There was no recorded recent travel history of both patients. Still district administration was in process to trace the trail of corona virus that infected two persons in the district.
Antibody Profile test of Blood Samples, Not Done
The health authorities had collected blood samples of both patients for anti body profiling to ascertain the health status of both patients to trace the source of infection. The antibody profile was not conducted by the health authorities. The health officer in-charge Dr. MS Verma said that the blood samples were taken for antibody profiling but later it was not done following government guidelines.
Pertinent to mention that the health secretary to government of Himachal Pradesh Mr. Dhiman had said that antibody profiling would be done of both patients to trace the source of corona in both patients.
The issue was raised in the review meeting with the Deputy Commissioner but health authorities kept on convincing the DC to not to conduct repeat covid test of both patients. They stressed on doing the test only after 14 days as prescribed in the standard procedure.
What was the fear with Health Authorities?
Despite having tested negative, all primary and secondary contacts of both patients, why health authorities were try to skip the repeat test of both patients. Though repeat tests of all family members were conducted and reported negative. Why antibody profile test was not conducted, while to order the test was in capacity of the District Magistrate. Should it not be suspected that what health officials were trying to hide or delay?
By not repeating the Covid-19 test of both patients fear loomed in the district that had no covid-19 patient till these two were reportedly tested positive. By not repeating the tests didn’t they put on stake the credibility of testing facility? Should there be no suspicion on the decisions of health authorities?
The Population of over 4.5 lac was put under strict lockdown after two persons were tested positive for corona virus. Over one lac people in two containment and buffer zones were almost under house arrest for over 8 days without any relaxation. Even, undeclared censorship on freedom of press was imposed as movement of press was also restricted for initial five days.
There were many other questions that went unanswered.
The suspense arises because four persons were tested negative for corona virus, who were tested positive in first sampling in Chandigarh. When the health authorities there sensed doubt, they repeated the test in different laboratory. The second report was tested negative. This saved four persons not only from mental and physical trauma but provided sigh of relief to their family members and the society they were living. Hence the scope of human error could not be ruled out in case of two reported covid-19 patients from Hamirpur district. As their all Primary and Secondary contacts were tested negative. Even repeat sampling of their family members was tested negative. Still both the patients were not tested again for the infection. But it appeared that the authorities here tried everything to not to conduct repeat test by sighting SOP or directions of ICMR.
In case they were tested negative in the repeat tests, it would have saved them from isolation. And people from living in containment and buffer zones with extreme restrictions.