According to Chuadanga health department, samples of 21 people of the district were tested in the labs of Jashore University of Science and Technology on 23 April and six of them were found positive for the novel coronavirus infections.

They sent another 51 samples to Kushtia Medical College Hospital and found 28 of them positive for COVID-19 on 26 April.

Two executive magistrates and a number of physicians were among the newly-diagnosed patients.

The local administration put the residences of the patients and their neighbours under lockdown to contain further transmission. The Alamdanga Upazila Health Complex was vacated and locked as seven of its physicians and 10 staff were among the 34 patients.

However, the latest development caused an unwarranted situation in the district.

Chuadanga Sadar Hospital resident medical officer Shamim Kabir said Kushtia Medical College Hospital provided another report to them on 26 April, stating that the tests of the 28 people are inconclusive.

Those samples will be sent to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Dhaka for further scrutiny, it added.

Chuadanga civil surgeon ASM Maruf Hasan said they tested the samples of all the 34 patients in the IEDCR and found 30 of them were not found to be infected with coronavirus on Thursday night.

Three of the six people who tested positive in Jashore and 27 of the 28 who were tested in Kushtia found not to be infected with the virus, he explained.

While talking to the news agency, one of the two executive magistrates vented his anger, saying, “We never expect such performance from the health department on which we are relying the most amid this grave crisis.”

Kushtia civil surgeon HM Anwarul Islam said they were embarrassed over the issue.

“A high-level delegation from the IEDCR has already reached Kushtia to look into the issue,” he added.

Professor Mahabul Islam Selim, general secretary of civil society platform Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik (SUJAN), told news agency UNB that the contradictory reports created mistrust among people.

“There’s no way for the health department to underestimate the issue. The situation may worsen if immediate steps are not taken,” he added.