PATNA: After landing in a row over doctored COVID-19 death count, Bihar has now reported fudging in testing figures. At many health centres in Muzaffarpur district, the numbers have been found to be inflated, prompting the government to launch a probe.
At a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Bochhaha, 3,550 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits were supplied by the government between March 1 and May 31, but the number of tests carried out in the same period was recorded to be 6,470.
Similarly, 5,500 RAT kits were provided to the Saraiya Community Health Centre (CHC) between March 1 and May 31, but official records showed 6,581 persons had been tested. The irregularities continued at the Saraiya PHC also, where a total of 8,250 kits were supplied but the number of people tested was recorded to be 8,755.
At Motipur CHC, only 7,400 RAT kits were supplied but records showed that a total of 8,325 people were tested while Muraul CHC received 7,875 test kits but 8,325 tests were shown to be carried out in official records. At Sakara Referral Hospital, a total number of 8,450 kits were supplied but 8,668 people were shown to have undergone the rapid antigen test.
The irregularities were detected when many people received messages of negative test reports on their mobile phones though they had not gone for testing. Interestingly, the data sheets at 18 CHCs and PHCs showed the entry in the column for mobile phone numbers against 8,231 people as '0000000000'.
The initial probe confirmed the irregularities. Muzaffarpur DM Pranab Kumar could not be contacted butthe spokesperson for the district administration, Kamal Kumar, said an FIR had been lodged against the guilty health officials and investigation was still on to ascertain the reasons behind fudging the data.