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In Germany, a scandal erupts around the work of test centers

The Ministers of Health of the Federal Republic of Germany will discuss the fight against corruption schemes in the provision of services for the detection of coronavirus by test centers. Spahn emphasizes that the duty to exercise control is on local officials.

The Minister of Health of Bavaria, Klaus Holetschek, warned of legal consequences amid reports of possible fraud committed during the work of test centers for the detection of coronavirus infection in this federal state and in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Ministers of Health of individual lands and the head of the Ministry of Health of Germany Jens Spahn on Monday, May 31, will hold consultations on this matter, confirmed the representative of the department.

“Anyone who wants to enrich themselves on the coronavirus pandemic through criminal fraud should be consistently punished,” Holetschek said.

“Bayern is working to ensure that all charges are quickly dropped,” he added. We are talking about possible fraud when invoicing for services rendered, an investigation is underway, the DPA agency says.

The consultations will begin at 08.00 local times and will be held in an online format.

Spahn: responsibility — on local officials

Meanwhile, Jens Spahn said in an interview with broadcaster ARD on May 30 that local officials should monitor how COVID-19 testing centers work and fight corruption. “I cannot control the test centers from Berlin,” the minister stressed.

The head of the federal agency also added that when it comes to private service providers, there is an obvious need to strengthen control.

Spahn also wants to involve the tax authorities in the audits. “Most treat the tax service with respect and in a very different way than the health authorities,” he said.

Investigation by WDR, NDR and Suddeutsche Zeitung

The allegations of fraud were prompted by a joint investigation by broadcasters WDR, NDR, and the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The publications came to the conclusion that it is extremely difficult to check the invoices issued during testing. In addition, services for the detection of coronavirus in Germany are provided not only by special test centers, doctors, pharmacies, but even hairdressers and cafe owners, WDR and NDR journalists specify.

At the end of February, a “mask” scandal related to the pandemic broke out in Germany. It involved, in particular, two Bundestag deputies from the CDU/CSU — Nikolas Lobel (CDU) and the deputy chairman of the faction Georg NuBlein. It turned out that they acted as intermediaries in the purchase of protective masks, receiving six-figure sums as a commission. As a result, both deputies left their parties, Lebel refused the deputy mandate, and Nyuslein said that he would not stand as a candidate in the upcoming elections to the Bundestag.

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