Testing error: NMMC suspends nodal officer

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) on Friday suspended Dr. Sachin Nemane, the nodal officer in-charge of conducting antigen tests, following a data entry error.

NMMC chief Abhijit Bangar said there was “no mala fide intention behind the error, but action had to be taken to send out the message that even small mistakes won’t be tolerated”.

The move comes following allegations by Maratha Kranti Morcha activists that the names of people who had not been tested for COVID-19 were listed as having tested negative on the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) website.

The NMMC chief said, “Antigen tests are done at all health centres and reports are forwarded to the ICMR. Officials maintain an Excel sheet of the people tested. If a person tests positive, the details of their relatives are entered for contact tracing.”

He added, “However, many people hesitate to give these details. When a person tests negative, the details of the kin are entered as ‘NA’, but the operator marked them as ‘negative’. When we checked the testing kits, the names matched with the inventory. If there was mala fide intention, the operators could have recorded fake names of family members.”

Mr. Bangar said the phone numbers and addresses of all the family members were correctly entered and there was no intention to cheat the State government. He said the activists gave the names of deceased relatives after taking the antigen tests. Therefore, when their reports were published, such names were also included.

Mr. Bangar said, “The mistake is only with respect to the relatives of ‘negative’ patients. The kin of ‘positive’ patients have been tested.”

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 8:01:05 AM |

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