COVID-19 testing machine price jacked up by three times in Hanoi hinh anh 1Conducting COVID-19 tests using RT-PCR technology (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Seven officials from Hanoi’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and related companies confessed to the police they had jacked up the price of the COVID-19 testing machines by a factor of three, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Lt. Gen. Luong Tam Quang said at a government press conference this week that the defendants had promised to return the money.

On April 22, the police detained and launched criminal proceedings against Nguyen Nhat Cam, Director of the Hanoi CDC and six others for jacking up prices of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machines used in testing the new coronavirus.

“Initial investigation showed the defendants had colluded with companies to jack up the prices of a COVID-19 testing equipment bidding package by three times,” Quang said.

After the case at the Hanoi CDC was revealed to the public, the police department for corruption, economic crimes and smuggling discovered abnormal signs in purchasing testing equipment in some other localities.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered the health ministry and local people’s committees to inspect the purchase of medical equipment and medicine for the pandemic, especially bidding packages of testing machines, ventilators, chemicals and face masks./.