Dhaka – Police have arrested a physician for her alleged link with faking thousands of Covid-19 test reports that tainted Bangladesh’s international image.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Harun-or-Rashid said Dr. Sabrina Arif Chowdhury has been shown arrested in a case filed earlier in connection with issuance of fake coronavirus test reports by a private health center, JKG Health Care.
Sabrina is a cardiac surgeon at a state-run hospital and reportedly chairman of the JKG Health Care, which issued thousands of fake reports after it gain government permission to carry out Covid-19 tests in early May.
The officer said the physician was summoned at his office on Sunday for interrogation, and later she was shown arrested in the case. Her husband Arifur Chowdhury and four others were arrested last month for their involvement in the scam.
The investigators will now seek the court’s permission for custodial interrogation of the physician, Harun said adding that the officers need to know who else are involved with the process.
JKG Health Care set up kiosks in different parts of the city to collect samples from the suspected Covid-19 patients in early May. The center collected thousands of samples, but they issued reports without testing them. And its report had indicated some were positive while the others negative.
It is alleged the center sell the reports to those who sought to travel out of the country amid a global pandemic lockdown, and those who wanted to seek benefit from the government.
The government scrapped the centers permission to conduct the test after allegation of falsification emerged, and the chief executive officer Arifur and his associates were arrested later in June.
Netizens have been asking question as to how Sabrina, as the chairman of the center, escaped arrest since her husband was taken into custody. Many of her photos captured in stylish poses went on viral.
Earlier on Tuesday, the government sealed off branches of a private hospital, Regent, in Dhaka’s Uttara and Mirpur neighbourhoods after the police found the heath facilities issued more than 6,000 fake Covid-19 test reports.
Police arrested eight people from the hospital on that day. But the hospital owner, Shahed Karim, who was accused in dozens of cheating cases, has since been on the run.
Bangladesh reported a total of 183,795 cases of novel coronavirus with 2,352 deaths since the first cases were diagnosed on March 8. The first death from the virus was reported on March 8.
The country has harshly been criticized after many passengers traveled to Italy were found positive for Covid-19, a disease caused by novel coronavirus, despite they carried reports that they were negative.
With many other countries, Italy has suspended flights to be originated from Bangladesh until October 5.