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About 1K people involved in fake Covid test racket: Report

KOLKATA: About 1,000 people in different parts of the state had been conducting fake COVID-19 sample tests since last month, according to a survey conducted by the state Health Department. The survey revealed people, who don't have valid documents of their pathological labs, are collecting samples from home and conducting the tests.

Sources said the Health department had already informed police about such fake tests. A few days back, a similar fake COVID-19 test racket was busted.

Sources in the state police said they had already arrested about 50 people from various parts of Kolkata in connection with conducting fake COVID-19 medical tests. Even local police stations have been advised to prepare pamphlets and paste it on the walls in various localities so that people are aware of the fake COVID-19 test rackets operating in the state.

"With the increase in rampant fake medical practitioners conducting COVID-19 tests, the Health Secretary has urged all people to verify the identification of any person who is coming to their home to collect swab samples,"said a senior health department official.

The department has also urged people to conduct tests from reputed private firms and check their identity cards before giving their samples for tests. Dr Yogiraj Ray, senior virologist—who is associated with Beleghata ID Hospital—said: "We have received numerous complaints from patients that they fall prey to fake medical practitioners and they charge around Rs 5,000 for a single COVID-19 test. The COVID-19 test at private medical set up has been capped by the state government at Rs 1,500."

According to state Health officials, it has been advised to patients 'relatives to also verify the Aadhar card of the person who is conducting the medical test at home apart from the identification of the private pathological laboratory.

In case of fraud, people have also been advised to immediately mail to the state Health secretary and lodge complaints with police.

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