DHS says doctor of Bethany hospital is counted as COVID-19 positive, Bethany urges public not to panic

Shillong Aug 01: Director Health Services (MI), Dr Aman War on Saturday said that the doctor from Bethany Hospital who tested negative one day after confirming as COVID-19 positive would still be counted as an active positive case.

“We stick by that positive (that had been first tested). For us it is good that the second test has come out negative as this reduces the burden of contact tracing,” Dr War said while replying to a query on the doctor from Bethany who tested negative in a retest conducted one day after he had tested positive for Coronavirus.

Dr War made it clear that the person would continue to be counted as an active positive case, and should complete the 14-day quarantine period, after which a retest would be conducted.

When asked about the efficacy of the test, Dr War however allayed doubts over the reliability of the machine (RT-PCR) adding that the timing of the test is also important.

According to the DHS, truenat, antigen apart from RT-PCR test, have been conducted for this particular case, but only the RT-PCR test at NEIGRIHMS confirmed positive.

Bethany Hospital, Nodal Officer and Spokesperson, Dr. Kyntiewlang Sanmiet said that there was no reason for the public to panic in this regard.

“The doctor has been on leave for more than a week till today. As per hospital protocol, any doctor or staff has to be tested for COVID-19 before resuming his/her duties for the safety of all patients and staff. The said doctor’s swab was taken on July 29, his report came out to be positive and he was immediately taken from his residence to a Corona Care Centre for quarantine. As instructed by the Government, retesting was done on July 30, and he tested negative on the second test,” Dr. Sanmiet said in a statement on Saturday.

“As COVID-19 is a new virus and not much is known about it, there is a possibility that a person can be tested negative one day after being tested positive. That is why we appeal the public not to panic as recovery can happen after a day. The said doctor is doing well and asymptomatic,” he said.

Seeking to clarify that the hospital was not shut down; he said. the OPD and all services are open.

“We have gone over and above the necessary steps to ensure utmost patient safety and quality of care. COVID-19 prevention standards, like screening of all patients and visitors, physical distancing, issuing of masks and other protective equipment to all staff every day, daily disinfection and spraying of the hospital and all infection control measures are strictly enforced inside the hospital premises,” Dr. Sanmiet said.

“Our staff were regularly tested to ensure no one is a COVID-19 carrier and so far all were negative. As we move towards the new normal, be assured that we do our best continuously to deliver quality patient care. Your patience and support are much appreciated especially during these trying times,” he appealed.