The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) says it is currently investigating FIJ’s undercover report exposing a criminal ring, including people with links to the hospital, involved in procuring fake negative COVID-19 certificates for international travellers.
In the report, an FIJ reporter went undercover to expose a fake negative Covid-19 test result criminal network that has accomplices in multiple government agencies, including LASUTH, the Lagos State Biobank, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Nigeria Immigration Service. The collusion enables the syndicate to not only procure fake Covid result, but bypass the Nigeria International travel portal (NITP), a tech platform set up to register inbound travellers.
Reacting in a statement emailed to FIJ, Seyi Adewale, Public Relations Officer of LASUTH, promised to investigate the story.
“The attention of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has been drawn to a purported investigative report trending online about fake COVID-19 results. In the said report, our very reputable hospital was mentioned as harbouring nefarious elements who colluded with personnel at the Biosafety Laboratory in Yaba to give out fake COVID results,” read the statement.
“We wish to make the following clarifications: It will be nice for the writer to authenticate the identity of whoever he dealt with parading as a LASUTH staff.
“It is well-known that only the private laboratories accredited by the state government carry out COVID-19 tests for intending travellers for a fee. Our hospital does not carry out COVID-19 tests. Free COVID-19 tests are done for suspects at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba; Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
“Our hospital is a public premises and there is therefore no restriction to entry and exit of human traffic. As a result, even though we try to watch out for heinous characters that really have no business in the hospital, it is usually a herculean task. As a result, there are impostors who parade themselves as hospital workers, out to make quick money from unsuspecting victims.
Adewale expressed “strong belief” that FIJ interacted with one of such touts.
“Our staff comprises largely of highly disciplined and incorruptible men and women who will not engage in such nefarious activities as described in the report,” he said. “However, the hospital management is investigating the allegation and will leave no stone unturned to unravel the truth.”
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