Nov 05, 2020

'Releasing quarantined persons sans testing, risky' Featured

President of the Sri Lanka Society for Medical Laboratory Science (SMLS) - Ravi Kumudesh says that releasing quarantine people without testing them is wrong.

At the same time, the union alleges that the Ministry of Health's Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 continuously fails to harness the full potential of medical laboratory science, compromising epidemic control efforts.

Accordingly, Mr. Kumedesh warns that there is a serious risk of sending individuals home after their 14-day quarantine period, without conducting tests, despite the existence of simple tests on antibodies which are built up after the 14-day period.

PCR, not necessary to find whether cured or not

This is mostly due to the fact that not all relevant parties are present at the Technical Committee to give the proper advice, he says.

Noting that it is possible to easily confirm whether a patient is cured using Immuno Chemistry Analyzers, which are currently installed in base hospitals, he adds.

Kumudesh added that this test was more suitable than PCR tests to determine the recovery of an infected person.

Noting that their association has been calling for preparations to hold these tests since last April, Kumudesh says further delays could result in the inability to gather a large amount of essential lab data.

Therefore, it is essential for the Technical Advisory Committee to rectify its weaknesses and take up a more informed and broader approach, he further said.