“Pay Rs 2,500 and you will get a negative report for Covid-19 test that will bear the seal of one of the two government hospitals in Meerut. The report has a validity of 14 days.” : This is what a private hospital in the town has been promising people in a video that went viral on social media, after which an FIR was registered against the hospital management. The facility has also been sealed and the District Magistrate on Saturday recommended that its licence be cancelled.
Meerut Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Rajkumar Saini ordered a probe on Saturday after a person showed him the video, which is 2 minutes and 38 seconds long, and also the ‘negative report of Covid-19 test’, at his office. The CMO also directed his deputy, Gopal Singh, to register an FIR in this connection with the Lisadi Gate police station.
The viral video and the ‘negative report’ have become a cause for concern for health and administrative officials in Meerut. The document that was shown to the CMO bore the stamp of the Pyarelal District Hospital, one of the two government hospitals in Meerut.
“I am not aware of any such report doing the rounds in Meerut. We do collect samples for the coronavirus test with genuine IDs and then sent the same to the Meerut medical college because we do not have the equipment and the expertise to test the same at our hospital,” said Dr P K Bansal, superintendent of the Pyarelal district hospital.
“This is a serious issue and we have taken prompt action by sealing the hospital on Saturday evening and have initiated the process for annulling of its licence besides lodging of the FIR against the hospital owner,” said Meerut District Magistrate Anil Dhingra.
The New Meerut Hospital on Hapur road in Meerut is owned by Shah Alam, against whom an FIR was registered at the Lisadi Gate police station by Deputy CMO Gopal Singh on Saturday. “The video is fake and has been released to malign my image and give the hospital a bad name. I am innocent and the inquiry will prove that,” claimed Shah Alam.
“The Covid-19 situation in Meerut is already grim…1,116 patients have so far been tested positive of which 275 are active cases at present and 772 have so far recovered. A total of 69 deaths have so far been reported on this count, the highest in Uttar Pradesh. In this scenario, a so-called negative report for Covid-19 test with the ‘seal’ of a government hospital will be a major blow towards our efforts to keep the cases to a minimum. Now, armed with such a fake report anyone can go for an operation at any hospital and if he or she happens to be Covid positive, the outcome will be explosive,” Saini told The Indian Express on phone.
“The government should launch a massive drive to bar those hospitals and nursing homes being run in the state with persons who have no medical degree as has happened in the case of the New Meerut Hospital,” claimed Anil Nausran, secretary of the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Meerut unit.
“We are investigating the veracity of charges but no arrest has been made yet. We will go for arrest after we complete our investigation,” said SP(Meerut City) Akhilesh Narain Singh.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines