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Shanghai Lab Orders Inquiry Into Accuracy of Covid-19 Tests

Residents in the Chinese economic hub have over the past six weeks had to undergo multiple rounds of self-testing via antigen kits, as well as PCR Covid-19 tests


Residents in Shanghai wait in a queue for Covid-19 tests.
Some residents have expressed anger in social media over badly managed Covid-19 tests in their communities, citing issues such as confusion over test results or long waiting times. Photo: Reuters.

 

Locked-down Shanghai residents who questioned the results of their Covid-19 tests might be vindicated after the laboratory on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into their accuracy.

Residents had been ordered to move to quarantine sites after the Shanghai Runda Medical Technology lab conducting nucleic acid tests returned positive results on their samples, only to test negative for the virus following additional tests by other labs.

Runda said it had told its testing affiliate to carry out checks. Residents in the Chinese economic hub have over the past six weeks had to undergo multiple rounds of self-testing via antigen kits, as well as PCR tests.

Shanghai Runda, which holds a 48.4% stake in the laboratory’s owner, a medical testing company, said in a filing it has directed the lab to self investigate the issue and to comply with probes by authorities.

Doubts over the accuracy of results of Covid-19 tests from the Runda-linked lab have added to frustration over the Shanghai government’s testing campaigns.

 

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Anger in Social Media

Some residents have expressed anger in social media over badly managed testing at their communities, citing issues such as confusion over testing results or long waiting times.

Each person found positive for Covid-19 and their close contacts must go to quarantine centres, many of which have been criticised as crowded and unsanitary.

Neighbours in the building of a Covid-positive person must isolate for 14 days, with the clock resetting every time a new case is found.

One user on the Twitter-like platform Weibo said she was in a quarantine centre after a positive result returned by Shanghai Runda’s affiliate.

She had since tested negative and now feared contracting the virus at the centre, she said. “I really don’t know what we can do after eating and sleeping in the same place with infections for five days,” she said.

Reuters was unable to reach the laboratory directly for comment.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

 

READ MORE:

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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