Hyderabad: Lab technician held for giving fake COVID-19 reports

Hyderabad: A 26 years old lab technician, S Kiran Kumar, was arrested by the Jawaharnagar police on May 28 of charges of giving a fake COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test result report to a family. According to the police, at the end of April, a pet business owner from Dammaiguda, Sunil Kumar (44), called Kiran to collect samples for the COVID-19 test.

Kumar and his family (wife and two daughters) were suffering from coronavirus or COVID-19 symptoms. Kiran took the test samples and told them that he would be sending those for the diagnosis to a private lab.  On May 1, Kiran sent back a report which stated that Sunil was positive and his family members were COVID-19 negative. Kiran charged them Rs.1000 for each test.

However, Sunil’s wife and one of their daughters were down with COVID-19 symptoms again and he contacted Kiran to get the test. Kiran took the samples and gave a COVID positive report for the wife and the daughter. Around the same time, Sunil’s wife was also suffering from stomach aches, so he contacted Kiran again. This time, Kiran came along with two doctors and took blood samples. He charged them Rs.7,500 for the tests.

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After the home quarantine period, Sunil and his family got another RT-PCR test. Kiran gave them a COVID negative test report. All of the report results sent by Kiran included QR codes and were in PDF format.

Sunil directly contacted the private lab to enquire about the test reports. The lab informed him that they never received any samples of him or his family. He found out that the samples were never tested in a lab and Kiran had been sending them fake test reports. A case of cheating was hence filed against Kiran under section (B) of the Disaster Management Act and he has been arrested.

The Rachakonda police has also advised citizens to get COVID-19 tests done only at government testing centers and ICMR recognized private labs.

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