Manager from Henan’s largest third-party medical testing institute detained, suspected for spreading COVID-19
Published: Jan 12, 2022 02:10 PM
Residents in Luoyang city in Central China's Henan Province took nucleic acid tests on January 2, 2022. Photo: VCG

Residents in Luoyang city in Central China's Henan Province took nucleic acid tests on January 2, 2022. Photo: VCG

An area manager from the largest third-party medical testing institute in Central's China's Henan Province was detained and placed under investigation by local police on Monday on suspicion of criminal offences related to causing the spread of COVID-19.

According to the announcement from the police in Xuchang city in Henan, the suspect surnamed Zhang from Zhengzhou KingMed Clinical Laboratory Center violated the rules of prevention and treatment of infectious disease, thereby spreading the coronavirus. 

The police in Yuzhou city under Xuchang's jurisdiction took enforcement measures against Zhang on suspicion of criminal offences. The case is under further investigation. 

According to the statement released by Guangzhou-based KingMed Diagnostics Group Co, the parent company of the Zhengzhou company, the Zhengzhou branch received a notice from Yuzhou health authority to participate in screening work for epidemic prevention and control on January 2. The company immediately engaged in the work and allocated related technicians and a large quantity of goods from Zhengzhou to the work in Yuzhou. 

In a statement sent to the Global Times, the KingMed Diagnostics said that it is investigating into Zhang's case and is cooperating with the police investigation at present but details about the case will be released later in an official announcement. 

It attaches great importance on COVID-19 prevention and asked its employees to strictly adhere to the rules of prevention and treatment of infectious disease, the company said.

An employee from the Zhengzhou center said that currently they are still conducting nucleic acid tests for residents, and can process test reports.

After the incident, some netizens claimed that Zhang was detained because he "spread the virus on purpose," or because he "lost the test sample" and thus falsified the data of tests.

KingMed issued another statement on Wednesday night, clarifying that those claims are rumors. It said that preliminary investigation shows that after arriving in Yuzhou on January 2, Zhang, along with five people, participated in the training of system software; dispatching vehicles, disseminating test kits and helping establish testing procedures, under the local health bureau's arrangement.

The company said it will hold rumormongers accountable.

KingMed is a Guangzhou-based company with expertise in medical testing. It has established 38 labs in Chinese mainland cities including Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing, as well as in Hong Kong SAR, providing testing and pathological diagnoses for more than 23,000 medical agencies. 

Its services cover areas accommodating 90 percent of the country's population, said the company. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the company has undertaken some nucleic acid testing duties organized by the government. In 2021, its regional headquarter in Central China expanded the PCR (nucleic test) platform, helped nearly one third of Zhengzhou residents to undergo testing, media reported, saying that as of October 2021, the company finished more than 10 million tests in Zhengzhou.

Global Times