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Cancun laboratory that provided Covid tests to Argentinian students closed by state officials

Cancun, Q.R. — The private laboratory used by Argentinian tourists for antigen tests last week, has been closed by state officials. On Wednesday afternoon, the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) closed the lab, which is accused of issuing false tests to the grad students who, upon returning to their country, tested covid positive.

The closure came after the positive student numbers increased from 44 to 74. Initially, 44 of the 149 students who landed in Buenos Aires from Cancun had tested positive, however, since then, another 20 have tested positive.

In a public address, the undersecretary of prevention and health promotion, Hugo López-Gatell has clarified that the lab used was not accredited. “(It is) a laboratory that is not accredited for the practice of this test,” he said.

López-Gatell explained that the Cancun lab was not accredited

He also said that they are in contact with Quintana Roo authorities and a report is being prepared that will be presented this week.

“The laboratory that carried out the tests had not provided any notification to the state health authority, which is an obligation, it was breached by this private laboratory,” said López-Gatell.

The lab in SM 43 of Cancun has been closed for alleging providing apocryphal negative covid test certificates. From this, the FGE began an investigation. State authorities have confirmed that the laboratory is not on the list of centers authorized by the government to carry out tests for covid-19.

Health officials inspect Cancun labs

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health of Quintana Roo announced that 150 laboratories were being verified by the Directorate of Protection Against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris).

In a public address, state governor Carlos Joaquín asked the National Guard to provide greater vigilance around the Cancun International Airport to detect possible sellers of false tests. During his address, he stressed that in Quintana Roo, and in particular Cancun, “99 percent” of the more than 10,000 daily diagnostic tests for covid-19 that are provided for visitors to leave, have been correct and efficient.

According to the information he provided, currently 113,000 international tourists are in the state, 80 percent of which are from the United States.

The Ministry of Health of Quintana Roo said that the Directorate of Protection Against Sanitary Risks has inspected the MARBÚ laboratory located in the city of Cancun, and whose operations were suspended due to non-compliance with eight paragraphs established in the Official Mexican Standard NOM-007-SSA3-2011 for the organization and operation of clinical laboratories.