Lahore DHO suspended in fictitious Covid-19 reporting case

Updated 23 Sep 2020

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There was also very serious allegation that 159 out of 1,883 samples of the suspected Covid-19 patients were not ‘human samples’, an official privy to the information said. — AP/File
There was also very serious allegation that 159 out of 1,883 samples of the suspected Covid-19 patients were not ‘human samples’, an official privy to the information said. — AP/File

LAHORE: The district health officer of Lahore has been placed under suspension and an inquiry ordered to penalise all those responsible for providing fictitious figures of coronavirus, says health department spokesperson.

The action has been taken after an inquiry panel had proposed suspension of the DHO, Lahore, and the deputy district health officers (DDHOs) of eight towns of the city after they have been found guilty of fake/fictitious reporting of Covid-19.

In the initial report, action has been proposed against the officers by the inquiry panel headed by the deputy secretary (general) of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) Punjab. According to the panel, the allegations have proved that the officers had made 1,883 suspicious entries on Covid-19 dashboard from Aug 23 to 31.

There was also very serious allegation that 159 out of 1,883 samples of the suspected Covid-19 patients were not ‘human samples’, an official privy to the information told Dawn.

Seeking anonymity, he made a stunning revelation that the samples could have been of dirty water, mud or rotten fruits/vegetables because the system had not recognised them as human samples. Entries were made by eight towns during smart sampling campaign, according to the findings of the report. Upon indication of suspicious entries by independent monitoring team, P&SHD secretary Mohammad Usman had launched the probe.

The spokesperson said the fake/fictitious reporting was made just to cheat the system but it had nothing to do with the allegations that they were showing less number of positive cases. These entries were made to cheat the system and to avoid taking samples but the efficiency of system successfully resisted this malicious effort, he said.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2020