As many as 40 labs in Karnataka have been fined Rs 20 lakh for a delay in uploading the results of COVID-19 tests, Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwathnarayan said on May 24. Among the 40 labs, nine were state-run labs while the others were private labs. The labs delayed uploading reports of over 10,000 people for more than 24 hours, his office said in a statement. Shalini Rajneesh, the nodal officer in charge of COVID-19 testing shared the information with him, the statement mentioned. Since May 8, these 40 labs had delayed uploading reports of 10,103 people for more than 24 hours.
Of these, 3,034 cases were those of government labs and the rest were from private labs. According to the release, the labs were fined Rs 200 for each case. An additional five labs were penalised for sharing positive reports before informing the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Stating that the labs are not understanding the gravity of the situation, the Deputy CM said that they (the labs) are violating the governmentâ€™s orders to give reports within 24 hours.
The Minister also said in the release that they will invite tenders to procure three lakh vials of Amphotericin B to facilitate the treatment of Mucormycosis or black fungus. The decision was taken in a meeting held by the state COVID-19 task force head with Anjum Parvez, nodal officer-in-charge of drug supplies for COVID-19 management.
In another development, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has warned of stringent legal recourse against those who are involved in black-marketing and misuse of critical drugs used in treating COVID-19. Bommai urged people to approach authorities if they encountered any instance of black-marketing of the drugs. He also assured people that the issue of shortage of vaccines will be resolved soon as the state is ramping up production.