Mumbai: Suburban Diagnostics starts QR code to detect forged test reports

To ensure COVID-19 test reports are not forged, Suburban Diagnostics has now implemented a QR code system. The new system will provide authorities easy access and authentication. This comes after they learned that most of the citizens are using fabricated test reports to travel and skip quarantine.

Health experts believe that some citizens try to outsmart the protocols and the government agencies need to take strict action against offenders.

Sushant Kinra, chief operating officer (COO) of Suburban Diagnostics, said that the QR code, when scanned with a QR code scanner on a smartphone, will instantly show the authenticity of a report from the company’s portal. Any manipulation in the report will be flashed on the system along with the true test date and report status. More importantly, if a person has never taken a test with Suburban Diagnostics and has fabricated a report, the system will show a mismatch or non-existence of the person’s name with the SID (Suburban ID) and CID (collection ID). Hence, post the QR code authenticity check, there will be no possibility of manipulated reports under the brand name of Suburban Diagnostics.

“Diagnostic reports were being rigged to show COVID-19 negative results that allow people to board flights, attend events or cross state borders. On the other hand, positive reports are being used by students to surpass examinations and by employees to get leaves. However, the QR code security feature will control the forgery of test reports,” he said.

Senior civic officials said that several cases have come to light where domestic travellers had shown fake test reports to skip quarantine. Moreover, in some cases, some passengers coming from Goa had taken a flight to Bengaluru and then flown to Mumbai. However, such measures taken by the laboratories is a welcome move to help crack such cases contributing to the surge. “It is hard to track everyone, but the steps taken by Suburban Diagnostic are welcome. I believe other laboratories should also do the same thing to avoid any fabricated test reports,” he said.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, said travelling is one of the contributing factors to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai. “If people are showing reports from Maharashtra, then through the bar code, we can still verify the authenticity. But if passengers submit fake reports from other states, there is no way to check those,” he said. He added that if the public continued to flout rules, more stringent measures may have to be imposed.

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