Tribune News Service
Patiala, January 22
The Patiala Health Department has debarred a Chandigarh-based private lab from taking samples for Covid testing in areas under its jurisdiction. The action has been taken against the lab, identified as Atulaya Healthcare, for allegedly violating government orders.
Officials of the department said the lab was collecting samples for coronavirus testing without informing them.
Meanwhile, the lab claimed they had been keeping the state department in the loop.
The department said the lab did a gross violation of government order by not using the local ID for registering Patiala patients for tests, leaving the district health authorities ‘clueless’. The department said: ‘The lab deliberately restricted the flow of information with regard to coronavirus.’
The department, in its order, has stated: ‘Stop all activities regarding collection of samples for Covid RT PCR test in Patiala either by yourself or through any middlemen or franchise.”
Notably, the lab had outsourced Covid testing to other private labs and middlemen.
With regard to complaints of overcharging by the lab, the department said the liability of overcharging couldn’t be passed on to the sample collector as he was operating on their (accused lab) behalf. The officials said they would take action against the lab for overcharging.
Earlier, the department had caught a representative of the lab demanding Rs 1,800 for a test. The state government has capped the price for the RT-PCR lab test at Rs 900 for private labs.
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