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She died in the month of May but tested positive for Covid in July.

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Ballari: Kurugodu police have registered a case against a junior lab technician for creating a specimen referral form (SRF) ID in order to make a fraudulent Covid positive report in the name of a deceased person.

The accused is Pandurang, a junior lab technician at the Kurugodu Community Health Centre. According to District Health Department officials, he created an SRF ID with the purpose of committing fraud. He created the ID in the name of a lady who died in May of this year for a non-Covid reason.

The police are investigating the matter to determine why he produced the ID in the name of that lady. Was he contacted by anybody to provide a false positive report? Or did the deceased’s relatives contact him in this regard? Or did anybody contact the lab technician in order to present them with a bogus report in order to claim insurance money? According to the sources, all of these questions needed to be addressed.

How did the case become public?

Dr Janaradhan HL, the District Health Officer, told that on July 17, the district surveillance unit notified Kurgod CHC that a lady called H Shankaramma had tested positive in a Rapid Antigen Test, and the unit also shares the SRF ID.

“When CHC staff called her family members on the cellphone number provided with the ID to enquire where Jayamma was hospitalised, her family members informed us that she had died away a week earlier and was not Covid positive. This prompted us to undertake a thorough investigation, and a CHC officer contacted the family members, discovering that Shankaramma died on May 19. The officer determined that it was a natural death, and that was conveyed to me,” he explained.

“We wanted to know what exactly happened in this case, so on July 19, a detailed investigation was conducted by district surveillance officers, taluka health officers, and other concerned officers. CHC staff claimed that no tests were conducted on July 17, which raised our suspicions further. When junior lab technician Pandurang’s number was entered into the Cowin portal. It was found that Pandurang’s mobile number was stated against the deceased Shankaramma,” the DHO told.

“Prima facie, it appears that he fabricated an ID and generated a fraudulent Covid positive report for personal benefit and to defraud the government. He was suspended, and a case was filed against him at the Kurgodu police station “He said.

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