The district administration in Nashik has issued notices to three private labs in view of the high positivity rate of the COVID-19 tests carried out there, officials said on Sunday.
As per the notices issued on Saturday, one lab has been asked to stop conducting tests, another has been asked to get swab samples re-checked, while officials in Thane district have been intimated as the third lab is headquartered there, they added.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Nashik is on the rise over the past few days and a study carried out by local health officials found tests conducted in private labs were returning positive in far larger numbers than the ones carried out in government facilities, they informed.
"An inquiry was ordered, and we found that seven of 16 people who tested positive in a private lab actually did not have the infection. We found positivity rate in government labs to be 7.8 per cent while it is between 18-20 per cent in these three private facilities," an official said.
One of the labs that has been pulled up later said in a press release that it has issued a "Rs 500 crore defamation notice" to the district collector "in his official and personal capacity", as well as the state chief secretary and health secretary.
"We have preserved all swab samples collected since January 2021 and requested the administration to get them rechecked by the NIV. If there will be no difference in the reports by the company in the rechecking by NIV, the collector should take responsibility and leave his post immediately," the private lab's release further added.
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