The Kushinagar district administration has launched a manhunt to trace 17 suspected Covid patients, who have gone missing after their samples tested positive for Covid-19 in the RT-PCR test conducted at a government laboratory.
Eleven employees, including laboratory staff, members of the village surveillance committee and staff posted at healthcare centres have been suspended for dereliction of duty.
Suresh Pataria, chief medical officer (CMO), Kushinagar, said that on Saturday, samples of 20 people of Ramkola, Hata and Padrauna blocks in the district tested positive in the laboratory. Teams were deputed to trace these people for treatment, contact tracing and test others in the village.
While the cell phones of 17 people were found switched off, samples of three had been collected for re-test at the laboratory at Baba Raghav Das Medical College, Gorakhpur.
During initial investigations, it was found that the health workers, who collected the samples, had mentioned wrong addresses of the suspected positive cases.
The teams sent by the district administration could not trace these suspected Covid patients on the addresses mentioned in health department records.
Besides, the laboratory staff destroyed the samples of the 17 people, whereas it’s mandatory for the lab to store samples of positive cases.
“There has been negligence in duty on part of members of the surveillance committee as well as the staff posted at the health centres in the three blocks,” he added.
CMO (Gorakhpur) Sudhakar Pandey said an alert had been sounded in the area and teams were dispatched for contact tracing.