Laboratory error cited for BMA employee’s false diagnosis


A BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) employee at the Blackwater coal mine in Queensland has been cleared of his coronavirus diagnosis.

A follow-up test last week returned a negative result, with Queensland Health attributing the initial false result to a laboratory error.

Central Queensland Health confirmed that there was also no community transmission of the virus in the region.

“We acknowledge the impact this situation has had on the individuals involved, as well as our colleagues at Blackwater,” BMA stated in a media release.

“Most importantly, our colleague is very grateful to be cleared of COVID-19 and is happily spending time with this family at home in the Rockhampton region.

“His colleagues who he had interactions with outside of work, and had also been in isolation as a precaution, have also been notified.”

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) welcomed the news, with chief executive Ian Macfarlane stating the mining industry had reaffirmed its vigilance in slowing the virus’ spread.

“As an industry, we and the government are working tirelessly together to flatten the curve and keep Queensland working,” Macfarlane said.

“We are adhering to the chief health officer directives and deploying additional safeguards. We need more good days like today.”

BMA urged its employees to contact its dedicated hotline should they have any questions regarding coronavirus.

The company has continued to enforce strict social distancing, hygiene and cleaning practices across its operations.

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