Bangladesh testing scam could just be a tip of the iceberg

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Palki SharmaUpdated: Jul 17, 2020, 07:07 AM IST

Mohammad Shahed Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

The owner of two hospitals in Bangladesh is accused of thousands of fake COVID-19 tests

The world is fighting coronavirus crisis, but Bangladesh is not just fighting a pandemic, but a massive testing scam too. 

The owner of two hospitals in Bangladesh is accused of thousands of fake COVID-19 tests. 

Mohammad Shahed, 42-year-old, is facing allegations of distributing fake certificates to patients, declaring they are COVID-19-free, without even testing them. 

He was trying to flee to India, wearing a burkha, but has now been arrested after a search for nine days. 

The hospitals carried out more than 10,000 coronavirus tests, out of which 6,300 test reports were allegedly fake. 

He is also accused of charging for the certificates and treatments, despite earlier reportedly agreeing to deliver the services free of cost. 

He is not the only accused, there are others too arrested for carrying out testing scams. 

Sabrina Chaudhary, a government doctor and chairman of JKG Health Care has been arrested on similar allegations. 

This also suggests that there could be thousands of fake cases in Bangladesh too that are not getting detected.

Scams like these are also a blow for migrant workers who are willing to go abroad. 

Italy had last week suspended flights to Rome from Bangladesh in an attempt to avoid virus carriers from this part. 

This means the Bangladeshis who tested positive in Italy were allegedly carrying negative COVID-19 certificates from Bangladesh. 

The Bangladeshi government is under pressure to safeguard its overseas job market, give that remittances are a key pillar of the country's economy. 

So far, Bangladesh has reported nearly 200,000 COVID-19 cases and over 2,400 people died of the disease. But experts say the actual number could be higher as the country is testing a lot less. 

And the concerns have risen more because of the fake test results scam. 

Scams such as these are infecting Bangladesh's healthcare system and this could be just the tip of the iceberg.