New Delhi: Lok Sabha MP Hanuman Beniwal has got two conflicting Covid-19 reports, one positive and one negative, in a span of two days.
After testing positive at the Lok Sabha on 11 September, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MP from Rajasthan’s Nagaur got a negative Covid-19 report from Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh (SMS) Hospital Monday.
The MP tweeted a copy of the two reports — both based on the RT-PCR test, considered the gold standard of Covid-19 testing — Monday. “I am sharing both the reports with you, which report should be considered correct?” he said in the accompanying message.
मैंने लोकसभा परिसर में #Covid19 की जांच करवाई जो पॉजिटिव आई उसके बाद जयपुर स्थित SMS मेडिकल में जांच करवाई जो नेगेटिव आई,दोनों रिपोर्ट आपके साथ साझा कर रहा हूँ,आखिर किस रिपोर्ट को सही माना जाए ? pic.twitter.com/6NgU0jBdWE
— HANUMAN BENIWAL (@hanumanbeniwal) September 14, 2020
Parliament’s monsoon session started Monday, and the Covid-19 protocol in place required all MPs to get themselves tested 48-72 hours before the session started. A negative report was made mandatory for MPs to attend the session. Beniwal is one of 25 MPs who tested positive.
The Covid test on the Lok Sabha premises was conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). ThePrint reached the ICMR to ask how the discrepancy may have arisen, but spokesperson Lokesh Sharma refused to comment.
However, an ICMR official said on the condition of anonymity that the different results are not a “cause for concern”. “A person can test positive and then negative in a day’s time, so the conflicting reports are not a cause of concern,” the official added.
ThePrint also reached Dr Sudhir Bhandari, principal of SMS Hospital by phone calls, but hadn’t received a response by the time of publishing this report.
He recovered from Covid-19 in August
What makes Beniwal’s case even more curious is that the MP had contracted the virus on 26 July and recovered on 6 August.
In a video message on Twitter, he said he first got a positive report on 26 July and was hospitalised in Jaipur on 30 July. “On 31 July I got another test done, which too came back positive. I tested negative on 6 August and was discharged on 10 August. I was then advised home quarantine for 14 days but I quarantined for 25 days in total,” he added.
In the intervening period, Beniwal said he had come to Delhi once, on 31 August, to meet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and returned soon after. He next returned on 11 September, when he got himself tested.
“When I got a call from the Lok Sabha that I tested positive, I told them that I have even got an antibody test done and doctors have allowed me to donate plasma, so I have enough antibodies for three months and can’t get infected now,” he said.
He got another test done after consultations with senior doctors in Jaipur, he added. In his tweet the MP said that the report from Jaipur’s SMS Hospital proves he is now healthy.
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