GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Lawmakers and rights official in Guatemala called Monday for an investigation into 30,000 fake COVID-19 tests that were bought by public health officials.
The 30,000 tests and testing materials cost the Central American country's Health Ministry almost $1 million, but were found to be unreliable.
Jordán Rodas, the head of the country's human rights agency, said Monday “it is inconceivable that in the midst of a humanitarian crisis there is corruption in even the purchase of COVID-19 tests.”
A private Guatemala company says it bought the tests from a U.S. firm, which denies having sold them.
Edwin Asturias, the former had of pandemic efforts in Guatemala, asked in his Twitter account how many people might have relied on a false negative from the tests and unwittingly infected others.
Health Minister Amelia Flores has asked prosecutors to investigate representatives of the Guatemalan company and a former health official for possible fraud, perjury and other misdeeds.
Guatemala has had 171,289 coronavirus cases and 6,306 deaths.