Private lab in Ludhiana under lens for issuance of ‘Covid-negative certificate’
Civil surgeon Dr Rajesh Bagga has marked an inquiry against the doctors of a private laboratory at Field Gunj after the audio clip of a conversation between a doctor and patient seeking a “Covid-negative certificate” came to fore.
Dr Bagga said only labs affiliated with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) were allowed to conduct RT-PCR and True Net tests to establish the presence or absence of coronavirus.
“We have examined the audio clip and asked the doctor to report at the civil surgeon’s office and explain the context of the conversation. A probe is underway,” he added.
In the audio clip, whose authenticity HT could not independently verify, a male patient is heard asking the doctor for a certificate mentioning “Covid-19 negative” as he was planning a trip with his friends to Morni Hills near Chandigarh.
For this, the doctor asks for Rs 1,500 – Rs 1,000 for the test and Rs 500 for issuing the fitness certificate, a photo copy of his Aadhaar Card and passport-size photograph.
Despite repeated attempts, the laboratory doctors were not immediately available for comments.
The health department has urged residents to get tested only through government-affiliated medical facilities.