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Millions dollars corruption and the disappearance of corona test kits

At least four months earlier, the Public Health health ministry involved private hospitals in the health sector to fulfill the Coronavirus test after its outbreak worldwide. But widespread corruption in the budget to help fight Coronavirus has overshadowed the Public Health ministry achievements. According to recent sources, some allegations show that Coronavirus test kits donated by the World Health Organization have disappeared from the Public Health ministry laboratories. Some former officials have sold the Coronavirus test kits to private hospitals and laboratories.

City Lab is one of the private health institutions accused of buying these testing kits from health ministry officials. “we have got some reports that Coronavirus testing kits have been disappeared from health ministry central laboratory stocks in health ministry of Afghanistan. according to these reports, the testing kits are sold to the private sector by former officials of the ministry; our findings show that City Lab and Millat hospital are two largest institutions that have bought these kits at a lower cost.” A source told PMG news on the condition of anonymity.

Where do the missing kits go?

To track such an allegation, the PMG News team went to City Lab to closely follow up on the story. The first question for the team was how to Covid-19 test can be performed in Afghanistan?  Does the private sector have the real capacity to diagnose the disease within the country? And finally, Buying coronavirus test kits by City Lab are the pieces of the puzzle in this case. City lab officials have denied the allegations, saying allegations are just a conspiracy to make a bad image of them. The officials of this Lab provide us documents that indicate Kits’ purchase from companies importing medical devices; Rezwan Ahmadzai, the head of City Lab, even takes us to the PCR department of this institution that we can take pictures of Coronavirus testing kits and observe their equipment. In response to this claim, Mr. Ahmadzai said: “All our Kits are imported from neighboring countries, but most of these Kits are currently purchased from Korea. We have been deceived and a conspiracy has been hatched against us. The Ministry of Health has warned us instead of rewarding our Lab because we offer better coronavirus testing services all around Afghanistan.”

City Lab officials allow our team to take pictures of the PCR machines and learn how the Afghan technicians do the testing process? “This test is performed by finding the RNA and DNA of Coronavirus, using specific devices, and the results are extremely accurate, this test is mainly performed using PCR devices.” Said Mohammad Wasim, a technician of City lab.

The Ministry of Public Health has denied reports that Coronavirus testing Kits have disappeared; MOPH officials say that each laboratory needs unique testing kits to detect Coronavirus. “Our kits are not sold in the market,” Akmal Samsour, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, told PMG news. “Private sector purchased kits are only used in their machines. Kits donated to the Ministry of Health can only be used in government laboratories.”

What and how is the accuracy of the PCR machine:

Medical laboratory officials say the test is performed by RNA and DNA coronavirus detectors using the PCR method. “The PCR machine is the most standard diagnostic device for corona testing. From the United States and Europe to Afghanistan, all corona tests are performed on the PCR machine,” said Rezwan Ahmadzai, director of City Labs.

Mr. Rezwan emphasizes that after allowing private hospitals and laboratories to perform coronavirus testing, they can now give clients a result that offers a 90 percent guaranteed result within an hour. “Since the beginning of the corona test process in their private hospitals, we have tested more than 30,000 patients, of which 800 to 900 were positive cases and the rest were negative, said the director of City Hospital. Most people who are sick have a higher incidence of Coronavirus disease, and at least two percent of positive cases have been reported among passengers as well.”

Accuracy of test results:

Dozens of applicants traveling outside Afghanistan come to the City lab every day for performing coronavirus testing. Mohammad Yassin is one of the travelers who want to go to Germany; “I have to travel to Germany; I came here to the city Lab to do this test; I was told they would give me the test results in 24 hours, this process is so easier for travelers, and the hospital has provided sofar a good facility that the passengers can get a better result in less time” he said.

Mustafa is another applicant for doing a coronavirus test as he is willing to go to London. He complains about the high prices, but it seems he is satisfied with getting a coronavirus test results in the shortest time: “I will receive my result in less than twenty-four hours because I will travel tomorrow to London. Getting a corona test in a short period with fast service is very effective for travelers going abroad.”

The capacity of the Ministry of Public Health to conduct corona testing:

Before the Ministry of Public Health allowed the private sector to test the coronavirus effects in patients, the corona test results were made available to the applicant or patient in public laboratories after fifteen days. Still, now this test is performed using the most advanced method, the PCR, quickly. Although this test’s cost is still higher than expected, the applicant can even get the corona test result n twenty-four hours. Following the outbreak of Coronavirus, the Ministry of Public Health experienced poor management in controlling the virus. Still, health experts say that if the outbreak of Coronavirus re-emerges, the Afghan government will prevent the outbreak’s casualties.