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Patient Tested Negative For COVID-19 By RT-PCR But Positive By Rapid Antigen Test Only Hours Later: PBT Demands ICMR Must Investigate For Fake COVID-testing Kits

Ahindra Biswas, a resident of Serampore, West Bengal came to PBT seeking help to find justice after his 59-year old wife, Sumitra Biswas, died from alleged medical negligence due to COVID-19 as shown in the death certificate issued by a local government hospital, Walsh Hospital. When the medical records were analyzed, shocking reports of COVID-19 testing came to light – before admission to Walsh Hospital, the patient was tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR by a private diagnostic clinic on 19th May, 2021 and the result was negative showing that she did not have COVID-19. However, when she was taken to Walsh Hospital only few hours later on the same day and COVID-19 was tested again using a standard rapid antigen (ICT) test that found that the patient was positive for COVID-19. It is almost impossible for the most sensitive RT-PCR test for COVID-19 to find an infected patient as negative. Was the RT-PCR kit used by the diagnostic cline was fake? Or was it the rapid antigen (ICT) kit used at Walsh Hospital of poor quality to detect the corona virus in a COVID-19-negative patient? Ironically, the patient died on 22nd May, 2021, only three days after admission to Walsh Hospital from COVID-19 pneumonia as allegedly stated in the death certificate.

PBT has sent an urgent memorandum to the director of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), top regulatory authority to control detection and treatment of COVID-19, demanding a thorough and transparent investigation to learn the truth about the almost impossible dichotomy between the two COVID-19 test reports. If one of these two testing kits was truly fake, then perhaps countless patients across West Bengal and India were misdiagnosed because of the faulty test kits used by unscrupulous manufacturers and diagnostics laborites. PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha played a key role in a similar scam with HIV testing kits in 2007 when Dr. Saha, a medical virologist and immunologist based in USA, was hired by the World Bank to investigate alleged faulty kits in India. The World Bank published a detailed investigative report (DIR) in 2009 with scathing criticism and evidence of widespread corruption with the HIV kits in India.

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