Surat: Two private labs get closure notice for ‘bogus Covid reports’

Following this, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and deputy chief minister Nitin Patel in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday ordered the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani directed the state health department to conduct a state-wide investigation on private laboratories.

The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Wednesday slapped closure notice on two private laboratories — Hemjyot laboratory and Tejas laboratory — after a report in a local daily alleged that they were offering “bogus certificates” of rapid antigen tests without collecting samples.

Following this, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and deputy chief minister Nitin Patel in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday ordered the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani directed the state health department to conduct a state-wide investigation on private laboratories.

When SMC health department officials carried out checks in the two labs, they found that Tejas, run by Dr Nandkishor Mangoli, had till date issued antigen test reports of nine persons and all were marked negative. Hemjyot run by Dr Nidhi Shah had till date done three antigen tests and all were negative.

SMC deputy health commissioner Dr Ashish Naik said, “We have started investigations to find out whether all 12 antigen tests were actually done or not. Both these laboratories do not have permission to carry out RTPCR tests. We will also check all the 35 laboratories in Surat city which are authorised to carry out such tests. Licence will be cancelled, if any irregularities are found.”

The inquiry shall be looking at if all private laboratories are adhering to the standard operating procedures (SoP) as has been laid down by the state. Availability of pathologists, disposal of biomedical waste, maintenance of testing registers shall be investigated in this regard.

Principal health secretary Jayanti Ravi also issued a statement, saying that strict actions shall be taken, including criminal proceedings by police, against those found issuing bogus reports, without proper testing.

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