Lab virus tests probe requested

The Government has requested the private laboratory involved in the recent suspected abnormality in COVID-19 testing results to conduct an in-depth investigation into the incident and submit a report.   It will consider an appropriate penalty based on the investigation result and the incident’s severity, including contract suspension, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the relevant service contract.   The Government also reserves the right of not accepting any bids by the contractor for similar government service contracts in the future.   If the medical laboratory and its professional personnel are found to have violated relevant professional codes, the Government will report the case to the Medical Laboratory Technologists Board for follow-up action.   The incident involved 30 specimens collected by a private laboratory on April 20, which were identified earlier as 29 preliminary positive cases and one indeterminate case.   The people concerned were subsequently admitted to hospitals for isolation and underwent further virus and antibody tests by the Hospital Authority.   Some of them tested negative for the virus as well as the COVID-19 antibody, and had been discharged from the hospitals accordingly.   Close contacts put into quarantine centres in relation to the incident were also released gradually after testing negative, without needing to complete the 14-day quarantine period.   The Government extended its sincere apologies to the citizens affected.

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