COVID: Vietnam’s Health Minister arrested for cutting holes for testing

Hanoi Vietnam –

Vietnam’s health minister and the mayor of the capital Hanoi have been arrested as part of an extensive investigation into the massive pricing of COVID-19 tests, state media reported.

Nguyen Thanh Long has been sacked from his position as minister and Chu Ngoc Anh, who was previously Minister of Science, has been fired from his position as mayor of Hanoi, Tuoi Tre online newspaper reported on Tuesday. According to the Ministry of Public Security, they are being investigated for abuse of power and have been expelled from the ruling Communist Party.

Earlier, an investigation concluded that the mismanagement of the ministries of science and health allowed Viet A Technology Joint Stock Company to increase the price of test kits supplied to hospitals and medical centers. economy in Vietnam.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, nearly 60 suspects including ministry officials, public health leaders and army generals have been detained or are being investigated in connection with the price scandal.

The report said violations by the two officials damaged Vietnam’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and cost the state budget.

Deputy Science Minister Pham Cong Tac was also arrested on Tuesday for allegedly violating regulations on state asset management.

Viet A raised US$172 million to deliver its test kits in 62 locations. The company’s general manager was arrested in December and allegedly admitted his Ho Chi Minh City-based company had raised the price of a test kit by about $20, or 45% more. from the original, to make a difference of 21.5 million USD.

Phan Quoc Viet allegedly confessed to investigators that he returned illegal kickbacks worth $34 million to a state partner who bought his test kits for too much. high.

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