BIHAR government is “closely monitoring” Covid testing data in the state and has “taken appropriate action” in cases where irregularities have been noted, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told the Assembly on Tuesday .
The Chief Minister’s comments came after the RJD raised the issue of the alleged “manipulation” of the test data. The main opposition party had previously raised the issue to Rajya Sabha and reported the findings of an investigation by The Indian Express that revealed several gaps in data compiled by primary health centers in at least four districts, including the fudging of essential coordinates to find them. tested.
“I followed the data from the Covid tests every day…. Whenever irregularities were reported, we took appropriate action. We watched it closely, ”said the Chief Minister. He also said it was the “responsibility of the representatives of the public” to send comments and suggestions, and even to inform his office directly of any anomalies.
The Indian Express investigation tracked more than 2,000 entries in test data compiled by 11 primary health centers and hospitals in four districts – Jamui, Sheikhpura, Patna and Bhagalpur – and found that basic protocols had been violated in a rush to daily goals.
In several cases, the investigation found that the cell phone numbers provided for those tested belonged to independent individuals from other districts or states. In some cases, several unrelated persons have been listed under the same number. In a few cases, the figures used were those of the PHC staff themselves.
In Bhagalpur, for example, 1,438 entries for RT-PCR testing with 10 zeros listed as their cell phone numbers.
The Chief Minister said: “In several places and in some cases people do not have cell phones and as a result 10 zeros could have been entered … But we are investigating the anomalies.”
Speaking to the Indian Express, data entry staff blamed the PHC staff, saying they “have to enter 10 zeros to upload and validate the data into the system in cases where the PHCs do not meet the requirements. cell numbers ”. But district officials recognized that the sheer magnitude of such inflows, particularly in PHCs located in cities, needs to be investigated. In fact, in two instances in Jamui, the cell phone number, according to records investigated by The Indian Express, was 0200000000.
The results prompted the Center to request a detailed report from Bihar as the state set up investigative teams and suspended nine health workers from Jamui district. The state government has also ordered its health officials to test only after verifying valid ID cards.
On Tuesday, the chief minister also said he had asked the Principal Secretary (Health) to “review the situation and increase testing and encourage people to get tested.” He said it was “satisfactory” that Bihar had a Covid recovery rate of 99.2%, with Covid-related deaths of just over 0.5%.
Earlier, opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said: “There had been manipulation in the data from Covid tests…. Despite all the state government’s big claims on governance, NITI Ayog’s data raised concerns about Bihar’s poor health scores and the poor performance of the National Rural Health Mission.
Records up to February 21 show Bihar has tested 2.24 crore of samples so far and currently has only 560 active cases.
Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from indianexpress.com