The Ministry of Health and Wellness is investigating a Gaborone Laboratory for allegedly issuing patients with covid-19 negative results without testing.
The suspected Medical Laboratory, Optimum Health has come under fire for conniving with visitors who need Covid -19 negative results to avoid incurring 10- day Quarantine costs when entering the country.
The ministry stepped in after whistleblowers reported that many arriving visitors have been using the Lab to avoid Covid-19 laid down protocols.
Concerned citizens accused the Lab of contributing to the rising number of new infections and possibly the spread of the Indian variant, B.1. 617 as some of the patients that used the lab have been identified as visitors from India.
Confirming the Ministry of Health and Wellness’s intervention, the Ministry spokesperson Christopher Nyanga said investigations had commenced on the issue but they were yet to conclude.
“We are very much aware of these allegations,” Nyanga said.
The Voice has however been reliably informed that the ministry acted only after whistleblowers from the Lab threatened to spill the beans if no action was taken.
The Voice has established that the investigation follows a previous investigation, which was secretly done by the Director of Health Services, Malebogo Kebabonye without the authority of her bosses.
“Although the Director of Health Services (DHS)has indeed appointed a committee to investigate these allegations of malpractice and unethical conduct, it is not true that the investigation committee was appointed secretly. The DHS is empowered by the Public Health Act to do so and that’s precisely what she did,” explained Nyanga.
When reminded of yet another previous investigation that was done when Gaborone Private Hospital issued different Covid-19 results to the ones issued by the government, Nyanga said, “All issues that were there then, involving the health facility you refer to, were approached and resolved under the circumstances of the time, and within the confines of the law. The current issue will also be addressed in line with all relevant clauses of the Public Health Act. Each case will always be handled in its peculiarity without the temptation to make comparisons even in matters that may not be similar.”
Nyanga said that they would want to give an assurance that this issue like all others before it, and any that may come in the future will be resolved legally without deviating from the procedures laid down in the Public Health Act and other relevant health laws.
Efforts to get a comment from Optimum Lab failed as the Managing Director did not call back as promised.