More Covid-19 test forgery discovered in Bangladesh

Dhaka, July 20 (efe-epa).- The authorities in Bangladesh said on Monday they have discovered another hospital issuing fake Covid-19 test reports, as a part of the government’s crackdown on this practice.

Two people were arrested for their role in issuing fake Covid-19 test reports after a team of the country’s elite security force, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), carried out raids at Shahabuddin Medical College Hospital, located in Dhaka’s posh Gulshan area.

“They did only a few tests, did not test others and gave a fake report. The government did not permit anyone for antibody test but they (even) gave the report for antibody test,” RAB executive magistrate Sarwoer Alam, who led the drive, told EFE.

“The hospital gave coronavirus positive report to a Russian patient but he tested negative in another hospital the next day. We also found surgical equipment in the hospital which had expired nine to 10 years ago,” Alam said.

He further revealed that the hospital had been involved in several irregularities apart from giving fake test reports.

“They started coronavirus tests in April even before they had obtained permission from the government. They did it using some Chinese kits, which were not approved by WHO or the Bangladesh government,” he said.

Moreover, the hospital authorities had knowingly kept a non-Covid patient with Covid-19 patients in its ICU, flouting World Health Organization guidelines, according to Alam.

This is the second hospital found to have been issuing fake Covid-19 test reports after the RAB carried out raids and sealed off the headquarters and two hospitals of the Regent Group in Dhaka on July 7 and 8.

Investigations revealed that the hospital was operating without a license and had gotten 4,264 samples duly tested through government laboratories. However, it had issued more than 6,000 fake reports without even testing.

The RAB arrested Regent group chairman Mohammad Shahed last week as he was trying to flee to India after the police filed multiple charges against him and carried out raids for his arrest.

Earlier on June 24, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) also revoked the permission granted to a nonprofit, JKG Health Care, to collect samples for Covid-19 tests after its employees were found providing fake test certificates.

The police have since arrested both the chairperson and chief executive officer of the nonprofit.

Bangladesh has been struggling to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, with a total 202,066 confirmed cases and 2,581 deaths, according to WHO data Monday.

Bangladesh had imposed a lockdown on March 26 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which in turn dealt a severe blow to the country’s economy.

The restrictions were then eased on May 31, except in the worst affected areas. EFE-EPA


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