OVER THREE days final month, three Main Well being Centres (PHC) in Bihar’s Jamui district examined 588 residents for Covid — all had been destructive. The identify, age and cell variety of every individual examined was put down in a chart and despatched to Patna the place it was aggregated with knowledge from different districts to plot the state’s downward Covid curve.
Staring out from these charts, nonetheless, are a string of evident irregularities, an investigation by The Indian Express has revealed.
The Indian Categorical visited six PHCs in Jamui, Sheikhpura and Patna, and accessed their testing information for January 16, 18 and 25. In Jamui, it tracked down every of the 588 entries at three PHCs for these days, and spoke to a number of staffers to search out that fundamental knowledge protocol was bypassed in a scramble to satisfy the each day goal — from fudged cellular numbers to faux names and dodgy entries. And, in some instances, to allegedly siphon off earnings from unused testing kits.
A number of the key findings of the investigation from official information of assessments carried out on these three days:
# Of 230 entries for Barhat in Jamui, solely 12 entries had been confirmed examined. On the Sikandara PHC within the district, solely 43 of 208 entries had been confirmed examined.
And in Jamui Sadar, solely 65 of the 150 entries could possibly be verified in opposition to knowledge recorded.
# In Barhat, the cell quantity used in opposition to 14 entries and one other for 11 entries examined on January 16 had been each invalid. So was the case with one other quantity used for 13 entries for testing on January 25. In Sikandara, cell numbers listed in opposition to 16 entries had been discovered invalid.
# There is only one cellular quantity talked about in opposition to as many as 26 who received the RT-PCR assessments in Barhat. This quantity belongs to Baiju Rajak, a each day wager from Shambhuganj in Banka, about 100 km away. “I’ve no connection to any of those individuals, nobody in my household has received examined for Covid,” Rajak stated.
The 26 individuals with this quantity embody: 11 males, six ladies and 9 youngsters. The names and numbers are being withheld to guard identities.
We’re proud to announce that Jharkhand CM @HemantSorenJMM would be the Chief Visitor of the dialogue ‘Decoding India’s inner migration’ on February 12 at 2pm.
— The Indian Categorical (@IndianExpress) February 9, 2021
# Information in Sheikhpura district’s Barbigha of January 25 present that Sonali Kumari and Ajeet Kumar examined destructive in a Covid take a look at. However the cellphone quantity used for them belonged to Vijay Kumar, a sweets store proprietor in UP’s Pratapgarh. “I have no idea these individuals and I don’t have any Bihar connection. I’ve not taken any Covid take a look at,” Kumar advised The Indian Categorical.
Bihar was among the many states hardest-hit by the pandemic with the return of over 20 lakh migrant employees as infections peaked in the course of final yr. The state has to date recorded 2,61,447 constructive instances with 754 presently energetic, and 1,518 deaths linked to Covid.
Whereas Patna tops the state’s Covid chart with over 52,000 instances to date, information from Jamui and Sheikhpura present how in a number of instances, the cellular numbers offered for these examined had been owned by unrelated individuals from different districts or states. In some instances, a number of unrelated individuals had been listed below one quantity. In a number of instances, numbers used had been these of the PHC staffers themselves.
Dharmendra Kumar, a PHC staffer in Sheikhpura, stated his cellphone quantity was used for six individuals on the take a look at record of January 16. “I’m not working within the Covid part however I’m a staffer of the PHC. I’ve nothing to do with this,” he stated.
Based on state authorities pointers, PHC personnel liable for Covid testing are PHC accountants, PHC medical officers in-charge, block well being managers, block account managers and district programme officers. The civil surgeon is in command of all well being schemes being run in a district.
“Since September, we’ve been filling many of the columns with any names and numbers we are able to entry as a result of we’re below stress to satisfy or get near the each day goal,” stated a PHC staffer in Jamui who spoke on the situation that he not be named.
Information for January 16 present that the cellular variety of Dilip Das, a each day wager from Tub village of Asarganj in Munger district, was used for 22 entries. Das says he doesn’t know any of them. “I’m not associated to any of these 21 on the record. I don’t know how my quantity is getting used,” he stated.
Sandeep Kumar, a pupil from Lakshmipur, Jamui, was “so shocked” to know that his quantity was used for 19 entries on January 25 whereas Kiran Devi, a homemaker, has “no concept” how her quantity was used for 13 entries on January 16.
Kapildeo Ravidas, a trainer at a neighborhood college, was “shocked” to be taught that his quantity was used for 10 entries on January 25. “Since we’ve been a part of a number of authorities initiatives, the PHC will need to have taken it from the block database. I’ll lodge a grievance with the Jamui civil surgeon,” he stated.
The record for January 16 additionally exhibits that one Mohammed Riyasat took Antigen and RT-PCR assessments on January 18. However the cellphone quantity used was that of Satendra Yadav, a each day wager from Barachatti in Gaya. “I used to be examined for Covid in Barachatti over a month in the past. I don’t know how a Jamui PHC has received his quantity,” stated Yadav.
The PHC used the cell variety of Anil Pandey, a marginal farmer from Bathu village of Sultanganj, for assessments accomplished for 3 individuals who couldn’t be traced. “I hold getting messages from the Well being division now and again. Now I realise that my quantity is being misused,” he stated.
When apprised of those discrepancies, Jamui District Programme Supervisor (DPM) Sudhanshu Lal stated: “Now we have acquired some complaints of Covid take a look at knowledge fudging. Now we have additionally withheld the wage of the Barhat PHC medical officer on-charge. We are going to provoke motion in opposition to any official discovered responsible in our investigation.”
Sheikhpura DPM Shyam Kumar Nirmal stated: “Within the preliminary phases, a number of sufferers didn’t give their appropriate numbers. However we’ll learn how an Uttar Pradesh quantity was used.”
Chatting with The Indian Categorical, Pratayaya Amrit, Principal Secretary, Bihar Well being Division, stated: “We are going to get this investigated in any respect ranges. We’re asking civil surgeons to elucidate how such issues are occurring. We’re additionally proposing to hyperlink such assessments to Aadhar. We’re introducing this technique for the Covid vaccination”.