Racket selling fake negative COVID-19 certificate for Rs 2,500 busted in Bengaluru

Published: 28 October, 2020 09:38 IST | IANS | Bengaluru

A group of three women used to charge Rs 2,500 per certificate, flouting every possible norm

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

Fake Covid negative certificate was available for sale for Rs 2,500 in Bengaluru and this racket was allegedly run by three women, including a doctor working at a Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike run fever clinic. A statement released late on Tuesday evening by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said that it has dismissed one ASHA worker, Shanti, and a lab technician, Mahalakshmi, who allegedly issued fake Covid negative certificates with the help of a resident doctor, Shailaja. "The three women used to charge Rs 2,500 per certificate, flouting every possible norm," a BBMP official said.

The BBMP further added that Shailaja was hired on a contract basis and the BBMP has terminated her contract as well. The officials further added that the trio used to conduct rapid antigen test (RAT) as it was convenient for them, as this provided an escape route from misreading, stating that swab test was incorrect. "RAT is known for its faulty readings. That is why it was easier for them to escape, until a TV reporter caught them red-handed and their misdeed was caught on camera," the source said.

Earlier in the day, Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Minister, K. Sudhakar, had declared that the state government has registered a criminal case against the trio. Speaking to reporters here, Sudhakar said that false Covid reports at the Pobbathi Maternity Hospital came to his notice through media reports. "A team consisting of the joint commissioner and health officials was sent to the hospital for inspection. It was revealed that the lab technician, who was on contract with the hospital, and the ASHA worker were issuing negative Covid reports," he said, adding that an FIR was registered against them immediately.

The minister further claimed that a strict regulation will be introduced to rectify the loopholes in BBMP and make sure such incidents are not repeated in the future.

Sudhakar said that as a doctor, the incident has caused him immense pain. "It is a dishonour to the medical profession to make money through such immoral ways," he said.

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