Germany investigates fraud at coronavirus test centers

Germany investigates fraud at coronavirus test centers

The authorities german opened several investigations against companies that proposed rapid tests of coronavirus COVID-19 and that they allegedly increased the number of tests performed to obtain reimbursement from the State.

The Bochum (northwest) prosecutor’s office on Friday searched premises and private homes linked to a company that proposed these antigen tests, according to a spokeswoman quoted by the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

In Lubeck (north), the prosecution also opened an investigation for “fraud” related to the “performance and billing of rapid tests”, according to the weekly WirtschaftsWoche. And the health authorities of Cologne (west) visited a center on Friday for a control.

For several weeks, these tests have been free for residents, according to a federal law that seeks to multiply diagnoses. This regulation provides for a reimbursement of up to 18 euros ($ 21) per test, but several local media have warned that it is impossible to control the number of tests.

The centers are not obliged to give the names of the people subjected to the test or other documents, such as material purchase invoices.

“It is enough that they transmit the test number, without any proof, and they receive a money transfer shortly after,” according to a joint investigation of the public televisions NDR and WDR, with the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, which revealed the case.

To show the irregularities, the journalists counted the people who went to take the test in various places and compared it with the data sent to the authorities.

According to them, in a center where there were a hundred tests, 422 tests were declared, and in another site, where they counted 550, the company declared having carried out 1,743 in one day.

Melissa Galbraith
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