Kerala

COVID-19 test racket busted

The police busted a COVID-19 test racket and arrested a laboratory owner at Valanchery in the district on Tuesday.

The police said Arma Laboratory, Valanchery, had swindled ₹45 lakh from the people by giving them fake COVID-19 test results. Dozens of people heading for the UAE were stranded at Karipur and Kannur airports after their test results were made invalid.

The Valanchery lab used to function as a franchise of Kozhikode-based Micro Laboratories, which was given COVID-19 test licence by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The racket came to light when a man from Perinthalmanna approached the police after he was found positive for COVID-19 even after Arma Lab had issued him a COVID-19 negative certificate.

The police found that Arma Lab had collected 2,500 swabs from the people and had sent only 496 of them to Kozhikode laboratory for testing. The police said the Valanchery lab destroyed the remaining 2,004 samples and issued the customers fake COVID-19 negative certificates using the letterhead of Micro Laboratories. Arma Lab had collected ₹2,750 from each person who came for testing.

The police asked all those who tested at the Valanchery laboratory since August 16 to contact the Valanchery police station. “Apart from mere swindling, this racket might have triggered a potential COVID-19 explosion,” said a senior police officer.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 3:34:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/covid-19-test-racket-busted/article32725463.ece

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