We are seeing an organized group of people using testing queues and online platforms to find potential customers
The most recent case of Regent Hospital, which was found to have been faking Covid-19 certificates and treatment and embezzling crores of taka, is a grim reminder that, for many, the pandemic has presented an opportunity to take advantage of an extremely vulnerable situation.
As we have editorialized before, this was merely the tip of the iceberg, and a recent report has shown us how that is the existence of several crime syndicates which are doing exactly this: Charging people for fake coronavirus certificates, both showing positive and negative results.
This speaks not only to the deep-rooted corruption present in many of our government institutions, but also to a system that has allowed for these certificates to become a commodity in demand, one which people are willing to pay between Tk4,000 and Tk8,000 for.
These syndicates also highlight the fact that, in the span of a few months, we are seeing an organized group of people, which includes medical staff, graphic designers, and pathological and IT experts, some of whom have official government approval, using testing queues and online platforms to find potential customers.
In a situation where certificates have become necessary to return to work or receive basic treatment at hospitals, it is of little surprise that desperation and corruption have reigned supreme.
Authorities must put a stop to these criminal activities with the fullest force of the law while, at the same time, creating infrastructure which makes being tested for the virus an efficient and affordable process.
Not only that, medical treatment should not be a privilege but a right, one which any person in the country can get access to in their time of need.
If we allow these syndicates to rule over the current situation, we will have a disaster that completely destroys our grasp over the pandemic.