Fake COVID-19 certificates detected: Dubai bans entry of several Keralites

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Dubai: Several Dubai-bound travellers were refused boarding at the airports in Kerala after some other passengers who had earlier arrived in the UAE emirate were found to be carrying fake COVID-19 negative certificates.

The Dubai Civil Authority has informed that many travellers who had produced certificates from Pure Health micro lab showing negative PCR test results were found to be positive in tests done in Dubai. Following which, authorities in Dubai have said that test results from this lab would not be accepted henceforth. However, the test certificate from Pure Health is valid at the airports in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah.

Over 300 passengers who reached various airports in Kerala could not travel to Dubai following the ban on Pure Health's test result. The airlines are now likely to issue them tickets on another date.

For travelling to Dubai, passengers have to carry a COVID-19 negative result for a test done before 96 hours of the departure time. As Pure Health has no laboratories in Kerala, it had given a sub-contract to a lab at Valanchery in Malappuram district to conduct the test. "This lab has issued at least 2,500 fake certificates," said C K Naushad, Pure Health micro lab CEO and MD.

Meanwhile, Pure Health has signed contracts with other labs such as R Cell and Balaji, he said. These labs are expected to start testing soon.

Dubai has also banned test certificates issued by Surya Lab in Jaipur and Delhi-based Dr Bhasin path lab and Noble diagnostic centre.

Those stranded include 48 passengers who reached Kochi airport to board an Air India Express flight and another 100 travellers who had booked seats on SpiceJet airlines. Moreover, 125 travellers could not make the journey from Kannur and around 70 from Mangaluru.

The director of Thiruvananthapuram airport said that there were no restrictions on travellers to Dubai. However, according to NORKA officials, Gulf countries had introduced measures to reduce the number of passengers from Kerala considering the acute COVID-19 situation in the state.

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