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Meghalaya records first ‘false’ COVID-19 death

For representational purpose only. The State Medical Expert Committee said the man’s was a case of ‘false positive’ due to the error factor of the RT-PCR testing kit.   | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK


A 76-year-old man who spent more than 14 days of quarantine in a hospital after he was declared COVID-19 positive due to a technical error died in his Meghalaya village on June 26.

The hill State’s first ‘false positive’ patient died of asthmatic complications.

The man from Umsamlem village in Ri-Bhoi district was admitted at the Dr. H Gordon Roberts Hospital in State capital Shillong in the first week of June.

The doctors undertook the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR test, after diagnosing him with acute respiratory infection.

He was declared positive on June 9, following which the Health Department carried out contact-tracing in his village as well as in Shillong. The outcome of all tests, including a few more on the septuagenarian, was negative.

The State Medical Expert Committee later said the man’s was a case of ‘false positive’ due to the error factor of the RT-PCR testing kit.

Aman War, the Director of Health Services, said the machines through which the RT-PRC tests were being conducted have an accuracy rate of 99%. “This particular case fell under the 1% error of the machine and hence the man from Ri-Bhoi was categorised as false positive,” he added.

Consultants at the hospital where the man was admitted released him on June 22. “He passed away around 5.30 p.m. on June 26 and we buried him at the Catholic Church cemetery in the village,” said one of his relatives.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said the State recorded 48 COVID-19 positive cases till June 27. Five of them were active while one person, a 69-year-old doctor, died.

The COVID-19 death count in Assam touched double figure on June 27 with the death of a woman at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital late on June 26. Two more people – a man in Guwahati and a soldier in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district – have reportedly died too.

With 246 fresh cases on June 27, Assam’s COVID-19 positive count read 7,165. While 2,338 of these are active cases, 4,814 were discharged after recovery.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 5:44:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/meghalaya-records-first-false-covid-19-death/article31937970.ece

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