Bihar has admitted to falsifying testing statistics, following a dispute over a doctored COVID-19 fatality count. The government launched an investigation when it was discovered that the figures at numerous health centers in the Muzaffarpur area were overstated.
The government provided 3,550 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits to a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Bochhaha between March 1 and May 31, although the number of tests performed during that time was 6,470.
In a similar way, the Saraiya Community Health Centre (CHC) received 5,500 RAT kits between March 1 and May 31, albeit official records show that 6,581 people were tested. The inconsistencies persisted at the Saraiya PHC as well, where a total of 8,250 kits were distributed but only 8,755 persons were examined.
Additionally, only 7,400 RAT kits were provided to Motipur CHC, but records stated that a total of 8,325 individuals were tested. Whereas 7,875 test kits were dispensed to Muraul CHC, but records projected that 8,325 individuals were tested. A total of 8,450 kits were allocated at Sakara Referral Hospital. However, only 8,668 persons were found to have taken the quick antigen test.
Many people received notifications on their phones with negative test results even though they had not gone for testing, which revealed the inconsistencies. Surprisingly, the datasheets from 18 CHCs and PHCs showed the item '0000000000' in the column for mobile phone numbers for 8,231 persons reported The New Indian Express.
The anomalies were established during the initial investigation. The DM of Muzaffarpur, Pranab Kumar, could not be reached for answering queries about the anomalies. But the district administration's spokesperson, Kamal Kumar, said an FIR had been filed against the guilty health officials, and an inquiry was still on to determine the reasons for the data manipulation.