The Andhra Pradesh state government has called for aggressive testing in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, negligence on the part of ground staff in some districts has been a deterrent to the state’s mission against COVID-19. In the latest, local authorities in Prakasam district faced a major setback when nearly 27,000 COVID-19 samples went waste due to incorrect labelling. Prakasam District Collector Pola Bhaskar on Sunday said the grave wastage is concerning, and was caused due to the negligence of medical staff on ground.
Speaking at a review meeting held on Sunday, the Collector stated that a large number of samples was wasted due to entering incorrect details of patient Names and ID numbers. On some samples, ID numbers were found missing, leading to ambiguity on whose test it was. Further, not placing caps on the test samples properly, and transferring the VTMs (Viral Transport Mediums collected through TrueNAT) and VLMs (Viral Lysis Mediums collected through RT-PCR) without proper care caused the wastage, said the Collector.
Further negligence on not marking primary, secondary contacts on samples, samples sent for sentinel surveillance and those without age and comorbidity conditions causes confusion to the testing personnel, as to which sample to prioritise, said the Collector. The negligence led to 27,000 samples left untested at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences laboratory in Ongole.
Previously, the Andhra Pradesh State Special Chief Secretary for Health – Jawahar Reddy instructed district authorities to colour-code samples based on their priority. At present, the samples are to be divided into four categories to expedite the testing process.
As of 13 July 2020, Prakasam District has registered a total of 1,206 cases. Of these, 784 patients have recovered from the virus, and discharged. A total of eight people have died due to the virus in the district. With 34 new cases registered in the last 24 hours, 414 active COVID-19 cases remain in Prakasam.