Bengaluru: No signs, several samples rejected

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BENGALURU: The Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) said so far 69 sputum and blood samples of persons with travel history to China have been sent for coronavirus testing. Many, however, have been rejected because new guidelines say that not every person with China travel history needs to undergo tests unless he or she shows symptoms.

“We’ve been told that some samples have been rejected,” said Dr Deepak UG, nodal officer, RGICD.

However, samples being rejected on the grounds of lack of symptoms contradicts the state health and family welfare department’s mandate for 28-day home isolation to those who have travelled to 23 affected countries, irrespective of them showing symptoms or not.

The rejected samples include those from five persons of a family who stay in an apartment on Bannerghatta Road and visited China recently. The family’s China travel history and initial refusal to get tested had created panic among among neighbours. Later, the family went to RGICD and provided samples which were sent for testing, though they had no symptoms. “By the time their samples reached the National Institute of Virology, Pune the guidelines had changed. As they neither had travel history to Wuhan nor had symptoms, their samples were rejected,” said Dr Deepak.

However, Dr Prakash Kumar, joint director, communicable diseases, health & family welfare department, claimed they have no official communication about it. “No sample has been rejected so far. From Karnataka, 29 samples we sent tested negative for coronavirus and 16 are pending,” he said.

The 45 samples including that of a Hubballi man who had travelled to China and reported at KIMS hospital, Hubballi. The numbers of persons self-reporting for testing at RGICD is increasing. On Monday, it saw 32 persons.