Altogether 25 students of a technology university in Odisha's Sambalpur district were detected with COVID-19 as the kits used to test them were faulty, a senior state government official said on Tuesday. Those students of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) at Burla were found positive for coronavirus in rapid antigen tests conducted between February 25 and 27.
But all of them subsequently tested negative for the infection in RT-PCR tests, said Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Health and Family Welfare, PK Mohapatra.
"The test reports which had come out earlier were false as the antigen kits were faulty. The test kits will be withdrawn," Mohapatra said in Bhubaneswar.
The rapid antigen test kits used in this case were procured from two firms based in New Delhi and Haryana. They were served a show-cause notice by the Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited for supplying defective/non-standard kits.
Vice-Chancellor in-charge of VSSUT, BB Pati said, "It is good news that our students have tested negative for COVID-19. However, we are yet to get any official information in this regard."
These students had been kept under isolation in a hostel that was lying vacant. The varsity has also started online classes for students instead of physical classes.
The district administration had declared all the 11 hostels of the institute as micro containment zones and the adjacent area of one such hostel as a buffer zone. The university authorities had also postponed examinations of the final year students as hostels were declared containment zones.
Project Director of District Rural Development Agency, Sukanta Tripathy, said that if the students tested negative for COVID-19, the containment zone order would be withdrawn.
(With PTI inputs)