STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Dubai rejects Kerala lab’s results after franchisee fakes 2.2k tests

Regulatory   authorities in Dubai have rejected the RT-PCR Covid test report of four laboratories in India, including the Kozhikode-based Micro Health Laboratories (MHL).

Published: 30th September 2020 04:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2020 04:39 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: Regulatory authorities in Dubai have rejected the RT-PCR Covid test report of four laboratories in India, including the Kozhikode-based Micro Health Laboratories (MHL). A fraud committed by a unit, by faking 2,200 swab samples to siphon off money, has cost the MHL laboratory franchise dear. The rejection was communicated to those travelling to the UAE via Air India Express and Fly Dubai on the evening of September 28.

Following the development, many Dubai-bound passengers were stuck at airports in Kerala after they were stopped from boarding flights as some passengers who had reached Dubai earlier with MHL Covid negative certificates tested positive there. The norms say that an international passenger has to take a Covid test within 96 hours of boarding a flight and also arrive with a Covid negative certificate.According to MHL vice-president Hamza Meladi, the laboratory’s Covid test report has been approved by Dubai authorities for passengers reaching there. 

“We have several franchise laboratories across Kerala where swabs are collected and sent to the MHL Corporate Office in Kozhikode for testing. But our franchisee in Valanchery -- Arma Laboratory – collected 2,621 swabs but sent only 421 for testing. For the remaining 2,200 swabs, they issued fake Covid negative certificates by editing our letter head,” Hamza said. While these 2,200 swabs were not tested at all, it is learnt that many passengers who arrived in Dubai with fake MHL certificates tested positive there, triggering action by Dubai authorities. 

Laboratory  siphoned off more than Rs 60 lakh

The fraud came to light after Arma Laboratory sent the swab of a Cherpulassery native for testing to Micro Health Laboratories (MHL) without realising that he had already been given a fake negative certificate. 
The person turned positive in the test and the result was reported to health authorities. When the authorities rang up the person to shift him to a Covid First-Line Treatment Centre, he produced the fake negative certificate. “Based on a complaint by MHL, we raided Arma Laboratory and registered cases against two persons,” said Valanchery Inspector Shaji M K. 

The police arrested Abdul Nazar of Karekkad, while the arrest of the owner of Arma Laboratory — Sunil Sadath of  Cherpulassery — has been delayed as he is Covid positive, the police said. Given that private labs are charging `2,750 for an RT-PCR test, Arma Laboratory is learnt to have siphoned off more than `60 lakh through the 2,200 untested swabs. 

Meanwhile, MHL — which has branches in other countries too — is trying to get the rejection in Dubai revoked. The other labs rejected in Dubai are Suryam Lab, Jaipur, and the Delhi-based Dr P Bhasin Pathlabs and Noble Diagnostic Centre.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp