Covid-19: Sydney lab confirms hundreds of Bungle tests have tested positive

The Australian state of New South Wales has recorded 6,062 more Covid-19 cases and one death, as a Sydney lab confirms hundreds of people it sent negative results prematurely tested positive.

Health workers perform PCR tests at St Vincent’s Bondi Beach Covid-19 passing through the testing clinic.
Photo: AFP

Hospitalizations in the state increased to 557, from 521 in the previous reporting period.

There are now 60 intensive care patients.

The latest figures were taken from more than 93,581 tests carried out in the 24 hours until 8 p.m. on Monday.

Meanwhile, St Vincent’s Hospital, which runs the SydPath pathology unit, has confirmed that about half of the 950 people who received premature text messages informing they had tested negative for Covid-19 actually tested positive.

“SydPath can confirm that last night all of these people received their precise test results, of which 486 were confirmed as positive for Covid,” he said in a statement.

“Once again, we are sincerely sorry for this error and recognize the significant impact it has had on those involved.”

A spokesperson said it had moved from an “automated system to a manual system to speed up the release of negative test results” to meet growing demand statewide.

“Unfortunately, during this manual process a simple data processing error was made which resulted in the publication of erroneous test results,” he said.

“We have reverted to our automated systems to ensure that this type of error cannot occur again.”

The pathology department said it would reduce the number of Covid-19 swabs it processes to “maintain the quality” of its tests.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the testing problem was caused by “human error” within an “exhausted” pathology network.

“I spoke to the CEO of this hospital and made sure they had reviewed their procedures and protocols,” Hazzard said.

Hazzard said the pressure on private and public New South Wales laboratories was “incredible” and he renewed his calls on the Queensland government to drop its requirement for PCR testing for interstate travelers.

“Anything we can do, anything, to take some of the pressure off would be extremely helpful,” he said.

“It is time for PCR testing for tourism to be abandoned, preferably today… we are now in the era of this pandemic where rapid antigen testing makes more sense in many cases than PCR testing. “

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk previously said the requirement for travelers to produce a negative PCR test would not be reviewed until January 1.

However, this morning his government lifted the requirement for travelers to be PCR tested on their fifth day in Queensland in response to huge queues at state testing clinics.

Queensland registers 1,158 Covid-19 cases

Queensland has registered 1,158 new cases of Covid-19. There are 4,779 active cases in the state and no one in intensive care.

Six cases are hospitalized and receiving treatment for symptoms of Covid-19.

The state has more than 86 percent of the population over the age of 16 fully immunized.

Victoria records 2,738 Covid-19 cases, four deaths

Victoria has recorded 2,738 new cases of Covid-19 and four deaths.

There are 361 patients with active Covid-19 infections in the hospital, including 69 in intensive care, including 33 on a ventilator.

The health department says 55 more people are in intensive care, but their infections are no longer considered active.

The new cases were detected from 66,683 test results received on Monday.

There are now 17,821 active cases of the virus in Victoria and 678 people have died during the current outbreak.

Tasmania registers 43 new cases of Covid-19

Tasmania has registered 43 new cases of Covid-19. There are now 243 active cases in the state -142 are followed at home, 60 are in a medi-hotel.

A person is hospitalized after being admitted for an unrelated medical problem.


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