“Tk 100 was also taken from me and then they handed me a negative certificate although they had no way of knowing this without collecting my sample,” she said.

Two more female passengers from Bangladesh said they were charged Tk 200 for the Covid test and their samples were also collected. But they were not provided any receipt regarding the test fee. They alleged that the people manning the screening booth are pocketing the fee.

Meanwhile, Rekha Rani Saha’s name was not found in the registrar book of the screening booth where the names of those who get tested are recorded.

When asked how Rekha Rani was able to receive a negative certificate even though her name was not listed in the registrar book, Jamaat Ali, medical technologist (sanitary inspector) of Damurhuda Upazila Health Complex, as well as the officer-in-charge of the health screening booth, said, “She may have mixed into the crowd. Sometimes receipts cannot be issued and handed over because of the huge crowd.”

He also admitted that patients with cancer, skin and heart disease and those under 12 were provided Covid-negative certificates without testing during the immigration to help them avoid lengthy formalities that take up valuable time.

SI Abdul Alim, in-charge of Darshana immigration, said, “Any Indian passenger who tests positive for Covid-19 are being sent back. In case of Bangladeshi citizens, they are being sent to the isolation centre at the Chiadanga Sadar Hospital. However, while crossing the border, you must have a covid-negative certificate. There is no scope of discrepancy here.”

In this regard, Chuadanga civil surgeon Sajjat Hasan said, “If this happens then it is a sensitive issue. I’ll look into the matter. If such an incident is found to be true, action will be taken against the persons responsible.”

Darshana Immigration sources say some 1,804 Bangladeshis and 1,126 Indians entered Bangladesh from India using this checkpost from 1 January till 13 January.

On the other hand, some 1,337 Bangladeshis and 1,725 Indians went to India from Bangladesh through Darshana check post. Of them, 11 Bangladeshi and 13 Indian nationals were tested positive with Covid-19 during this period. Although Bangladeshi nationals infected with covid were allowed to enter the country, Indian were sent back to India.

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