GHAZIABAD: About 10,000 Covid reports from private labs, all of which are negative, are yet to be uploaded on the state portal, officials in the Ghaziabad health department have said. Once these reports are added to the district’s Covid count, it will bring down the overall positivity rate.
Private labs in Ghaziabad have mostly been sending positive test reports to the health department and the number of samples tested by them is also incomplete, officials said. This is why the positivity rate of all three types of tests conducted by these labs — rapid antigen, RT-PCR and TrueNat — are two to five times higher than those done at government facilities.
While the positivity rate through RT-PCR tests is 7% in government labs, it is 19% in private facilities. Likewise, the positivity rate of antigen tests in private labs is 14.3%, while it is just 2.5% in tests done by the health department. For TrueNat tests, the positivity rate for private and government labs are 12% and 5.5%, respectively.
Health officials attributed this difference to two primary reasons. First, the private labs have not been sending the actual number of negative reports to the health department. Second, the officials said, most people get tested at private labs only after developing symptoms and they are more likely to have contracted the infection. On the contrary, government facilities test a wide range of people. Since the number of samples tested at government labs is way higher than private ones, the positivity rate is lower in the first case.
Private labs in Ghaziabad have been charging Rs 1,200 for antigen tests and Rs 2,500 for the RT-PCR method. According to sources, private labs have sent only around 3,000 reports to the health department, and notices have been issued to them to provide the actual number at the earliest.

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