The Meerut administration in Uttar Pradesh has suspended the licence of a private hospital after a video showing an employee offering negative coronavirus reports for money went viral, ANI reported on Sunday.
Meerut Chief Medical Officer Rajkumar Saini ordered an investigation on July 4, The Indian Express reported. The facility was identified as the New Meerut Hospital on Hapur Road. However, the newspaper said the document submitted to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office bore the stamp of the government-run Pyarelal District Hospital.
In the video, the staff member tells the relative of a patient that the hospital can provide a negative report for Rs 2,500, IANS reported. “A man from the hospital can be heard saying that he can arrange corona negative report and the patient can get his operation [for another ailment] done,” Saini said. “We have identified the man and a first information report has been registered.”
The video also shows “clients” giving Rs 2,000 to the staff member and promising to pay Rs 500 when they get the results of the coronavirus test. “From the video, it has emerged that the hospital’s manager, Shah Alam, is promising people a fake Covid-19 negative report in exchange for money,” Saini said.
Meerut District Magistrate Anil Dhingra said the licence of the hospital has been suspended, and the place has been sealed. Anil Nausran, secretary of the Indian Medical Association’s Meerut unit, said the government should close hospitals and nursing homes in the district being run by persons with no medical degree.
Alam claimed innocence. “The video is fake and has been released to malign my image and give the hospital a bad name,” he said. “I am innocent and the inquiry will prove that.”
Meerut has so far reported 1,116 cases of the coronavirus, of which 275 are active cases. As many as 69 people have died. For Uttar Pradesh, the case count as of Monday morning was 27,707, including 785 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.