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Global Times

Beijing testing lab staff punished for violations threatening anti-epidemic battle

Global Times

By Global Times Published: May 28, 2022 12:14 AM

A total of 17 people from a nucleic acid testing lab in Beijing have had criminal compulsory measures imposed for hindering the prevention and control of infectious diseases, local officials revealed at a press conference on Friday.

According to officials at the press conference, in order to seek financial gain, Beijing Jinzhun medical testing lab blended three tubes of samples together and diluted the samples on many occasions. This could affect the accuracy of the results of the testing, leading to belated discovery and management of infected people and increasing the risk of virus transmission.

The issue is very serious, Li Ang, a Beijing health official, stressed at the press conference. Li said that the incident reflected loopholes and weakness in supervision and management of nucleic acid testing in Beijing, while vowing to rectify nucleic acid testing institutes in the capital.

According to Li, the lab has been ordered to suspend operations and an investigation into it has begun.

The capital authorities talked to all local third-party nucleic acid testing institutes on Friday and informed them of the issue. The authorities also sent people to the testing sites to supervise the testing, according to Li.

As Beijing is counting on nucleic acid testing to fight against the Omicron variant without having to resort to a lockdown in the city, local authorities have enhanced supervision and management of the testing institutes.

At the same press conference on Friday, officials said they also caught three people who collected nucleic acid testing samples for residents in Tongzhou district on Wednesday and asked for money, but did not have related qualifications.

Previously, six people from another medical testing lab in Beijing named Pushi were put under criminal compulsory measures on suspicion of hindering the prevention and control of infectious diseases by violation of official rules on nucleic acid testing.

The Beijing municipal disciplinary supervisory committee announced on Friday that three officials had been punished for violations of laws and rules during supervision and management of the Pushi lab.

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