Bangladesh suspends COVID-19 tests at four labs after ‘fake reports’

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-06-10 21:24:22 BdST


The health authorities have ordered four private laboratories in Dhaka to suspend COVID-19 testing following allegations of fake test reports.

The labs are CSBF Health Centre on Bijoy Sarani, Stemz Health Care at Bangla Motor, Al-Jami Diagnostic Centre at Purana Paltan and the Mirpur branch of Medinova Medical Services.     

Irregularities have been found in coronavirus tests of overseas travellers at the labs,   said Dr Farid Hossain Mia, a director at the Directorate General of Health Services or DGHS.

The directorate on Wednesday sent letters to the labs, saying, “Such unethical activities are a threat to public health and they have immensely damaged Bangladesh’s image.”   

The DGHS also issued a set of instructions to private labs conducting tests on people travelling abroad, Dr Farid said on Thursday.

As per the instructions, sample collection at home or outside lab buildings are not allowed for the travellers. 

The labs must check the original passport of the patients, not photocopies. 

A person cannot be allowed to leave Bangladesh if they have COVID-positive test report within seven days of the travel date.

They can travel upon getting a negative test report seven days after the positive one.

The labs need to check passport numbers to ensure the traveller has not given sample elsewhere within 48 hours.

Many countries have made the positive reports mandatory for travellers. A huge number of Bangladeshi migrant workers, who have been stranded due to the pandemic, are undergoing the tests to travel back to their countries of work.   

The government in July last year designated the makeshift COVID-19 Isolation Centre at DNCC Market in Dhaka’s Mohakhali for the ample collection of the travellers. Later, some other government and private labs were allowed to conduct the tests on the travellers.