Published: 03rd March 2021
25 engineering students of VSSUT tested positive for COVID-19 due to faulty rapid antigen kits: Govt
Interestingly, in March 2020, the Sambalpur authorities had converted an unused hall of residence of the Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Burla into a COVID-19 hospital
The 25 engineering students of the Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) tested positive for COVID-19 due to faulty rapid antigen kits, the Odisha government clarified on Tuesday. Two days ago, the Sambalpur district administration had declared all the 11 hostels of VSSUT at Burla as micro-containment zones after the test results of the students were received.
Interestingly, in March 2020, the Sambalpur authorities had converted an unused hall of residence of the Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Burla into a COVID-19 hospital. Additional Chief Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Department PK Mohapatra said the students, who had tested to be coronavirus positive, were actually not positive for the virus. The test results came positive due to faulty rapid antigen testing kits, he said. "The Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL) has been asked to withdraw the kits and issue a show cause to the vendor," Mohapatra said. Sources said it all started after one student presented at the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), Burla, seeking treatment for one of his fractured legs. As per protocol, he was screened and found to be positive for COVID-19 after a rapid antigen test.
Subsequently, the swab samples of those who had come in contact with him were tested through the same batch of kits and they were too found to be positive. While 15 asymptomatic students were isolated in a separate hostel building, the rest of the students were sent to their homes. The VSSUT had also postponed the examination of fourth-year students scheduled on Monday and decided to hold classes online.
"None of the students had any symptoms. The RT-PCR tests of the samples turned out to be negative following which the hospital was asked to check the antigen kits and those were found to be faulty. Further investigation is on," Mohapatra said. Meanwhile, the error in the testing kits leading to the declaration of the hostels as containment zone has put the district administration in a fix. They are in the process of lifting the restrictions after a discussion with the university authorities.