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Business amid pandemic? Salem private labs, hospitals issuing fake COVID-19 positive reports

With Coronavirus spreading its tentacles far and wide, a few private hospitals and laboratories in Salem district are allegedly cashing in on the scare of the people.

Published: 11th September 2020 03:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2020 11:02 AM   |  A+A-

COVID 19, PPE, Coronavirus, Testing

A medic wearing a PPE prepares to collect samples for COVID-19 tests. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

SALEM: With Coronavirus spreading its tentacles far and wide, a few private hospitals and laboratories in Salem district are allegedly cashing in on the scare of the people.

State President of Tamil Nadu Makkal Urimai Katchi, Poomozhi, claimed that private laboratories are hand in glove with private hospitals in the district and are issuing fake Corona positive results to those who are suffering from fever, cough and cold. 

“They are preying mostly on people belonging to upper middle class. The private hospitals are sending the swab samples of these people to private laboratories so that they could get a ‘fake positive’ result. Based on these results, the private hospitals admit the ‘patients’ and are collecting lakhs of rupees as treatment charges ,” she said. 

Sources said that the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the district has crossed 13,000. Salem has four private laboratories and one government lab at Salem Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital. 

Speaking to Express, State General Secretary of Federation of Consumer Organizations of Tamil Nadu, A Ashokan said that of late complaints started pouring in against many private labs in the State.

“Recently a lab in Tiruchy district was sealed for issuing ‘wrong’ results."

A health official, on condition of anonymity, said that they are taking around 4,000 swab samples a day from those who have symptoms.

“Around 20 per cent among them test positive. But private labs are taking only a few hundreds swabs and the positivity rate is 33 per cent. It’s due to this that the number of postive cases is on the rise in the district.”

Collector S A Raman said he had already given instructions to private labs. “Stern action will be taken if any of the private laboratories is found guilty,” he warned. 



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