Pakistan News

Probe into Covid-19 ‘figure fudging’ launched in Lahore

LAHORE: With a visible increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Punjab, some official documents have revealed that the primary and secondary healthcare department has been making fictitious entries to show less number of cases in Lahore.

According to the latest figures updated on Saturday, the province reported 130 more people tested positive for the virus during the last 24 hours, showing around 40 per cent surge in cases in Punjab as compared to those reported during the last one week or so.

Of the total new cases, 33 were reported in Lahore, 43 in Gujranwala, 12 in Rawalpindi, 10 in Faisalabad and others in Multan, Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Layyah, Nankana, Dera Ghazi Khan and Khanewal.

As far as Lahore is concerned, the official document unveiled that the health authorities have allegedly been making fake entries probably to dodge the Punjab chief minister in order to show less number of Covid-19 cases.

Documents show fake entries were made to show less cases in Lahore

According to the initial inquiries, fake entries were detected from the period of Aug 23 to 31 in the provincial capital and a thorough probe was launched.

Most complaints were filed from Ravi, Allama Iqbal, Gulberg, Aziz Bhatti, Nishtar and Wagah towns that meant fake reporting was made in almost entire city, creating doubts on the authenticity of the data updated and shared with the CM.

Initially, the Lahore district health officer and deputy district health officers of the above-mentioned towns have been held guilty of generating fake statistics about the number of positive cases.

The director (headquarters) of the directorate general of health services (DGHS) Punjab has been appointed as inquiry officer in this regard with directions to investigate the above-mentioned officials, fix responsibility and submit a detailed report.

“The director (HQ) of the DGHS Punjab is hereby appointed as inquiry officer to conduct a thorough probe into the fake/fictitious entries found in the Covid-19 data available at dashboard for the period from Aug 23 to Aug 31,” reads an official document (a copy is also available with Dawn).

The inquiry officer was also directed to submit a comprehensive report with recommendations and draft charge sheets against the delinquents with documentary evidence within seven days of issuance of notification.

Meanwhile, the official data showed that the provincial capital has been reporting highest number of confirmed cases of the virus and deaths as well since the disease broke out.

According to the data, total 49,382 people tested positive while 862 died in Lahore so far. The total number of positive cases across Punjab reached 98,272 with 2,226 deaths, as per the official update released on Saturday.

Only one death was reported in Punjab during the last 24 hours.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2020

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