Police Raid Clinic Selling Fake Coronavirus Testing Kits [VIDEO]

  • Avane Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic and Medical Spa advert for Covid-19 rapid testing kits. The clinic was raided by police officers on March 16, 2020.
    Avane Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic and Medical Spa advert for Covid-19 rapid testing kits. The clinic was raided by police officers on March 16, 2020.
    Twitter
  • Update March 17: As per a statement by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Dr Pranav Pancholi and Sylvia Ndinda from the Avane Clinic were arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts today.

    This followed their arrest by officials attached to the DCI together with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board Officers for propagating fake information.

    The two were found in contravention of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act and will be charged pursuant to this. 


    Located in Yaya Centre, Hurlingham, a business by the name Avane Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic and Medical Spa had advertised the sale of Covid-19 rapid test kits. The fake kits were retailing at Ksh3,000 shillings with clients advised to send money through mobile payments.

    Watch the video here:

    The business had printed flyers that promised the kits would offer results in 15 minutes "for early diagnosis, awareness and to seek out timely medical attention if one was infected".

    To create a sense of urgency, the flyers stated that there were only 400 kits in stock from the initial 1,000 units brought in. 

    The establishment was raided by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council on the morning of Monday, March 16. 

    With police officers in tow, an official from the council questioned one of the employees at the business premises on the content of the advert particularly the claim that there were 400 kits left in stock.

    "This advert is saying that only 400 remaining from the 1000 unit stock," notes the officer while addressing an employee at the pharmacy.

    The officer questions the numbers highlighted in the poster providing that the pharmacy needed to account for the 600 kits it indicated had already been sold.

    "When you say you placed an advert before you placed an order, and your advert says only 400 remaining out of 100 then we believe that you've sold 600," insists the official, adding, "we want to see the procedure that has been used, who has these kits, the 600?"

    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE

    The employee was hardpressed to answer the questions and provided that she could not clarify the matter until her superior arrived.

    Kenyans.co.ke spoke to Victor, an official from the Ministry of Health's Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus, who clarified that testing was only possible from a government facility.

    "There are no private test kits. If you exhibit the symptoms of the virus you need to go to your nearest hospital which will test you and then ship the results to the National Lab which will process the results," clarified Victor.

    Addressing the question of the advertised test kits he stated that Kenyans should not be pulled in to such claims.

    "We are following up on that clinic," he stated, adding, "That's a scam."

    The Ministry of Health has provided contact numbers where the public can call in case of any questions relating to the pandemic. These are the toll-free line 0800 721 316 or the two hotlines +254 729 471 414 and +254 732 353 535.

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