Australia: More than 200 people to test for HIV after COVID-19 test kit blunder

WION Web Team
Victoria, Australia Published: Oct 21, 2020, 05:26 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Australia Photograph:( AFP )

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The agency, in their report, said that these people carry the risk of cross-contamination and blood-borne viruses, including HIV

Anything can happen in 2020, and not in a good way. While the world is fighting with a pandemic, Australia has a new problem: blood-transmitted diseases.

More than 200 people who had been residents of a coronavirus quarantine have now being asked to get tested for any blood-transmitted diseases, including HIV.

The incident came to light after the staff of the facility admitted to using the same blood-testing devices for various residents. 

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A Victoria health agency, Safer Care Victoria, said that their staff has reached out to 243 people who had their blood glucose level test before August 20 in their facility.

The agency, in their report, said that these people carry the risk of cross-contamination and blood-borne viruses, including HIV.

Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents. This presents a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and blood-borne viruses – Hepatitis B and C, and HIV.

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The agency has also asked people t get in contact if they had their 'finger prick' test done in the facility but have not been contacted yet. They have also guaranteed anonymous testing for those who ask for it. "The clinical risk of infection is low. However, for reassurance, access to confidential testing will be arranged," Safer Care Victoria said in a statement.

As of now, there is no explanation provided about who is responsible for it. However, CEO Safer Care Victoria Adj Assoc Prof Ann Maree Keenan has assured that the matter will be investigated.

"Right now, we won’t be able to answer the many questions people will have about how this happened. Be assured that Safer Care Victoria is conducting a full review into how and why this device came to be in use." 

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