The Slovenia Times

Police reportedly search national lab over Covid test verification


Ljubljana - Crime investigators visited the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food (NLZOH) on Tuesday to interview director Tjaša Žohar Čretnik over verification of rapid antigen tests bought by the state late last year, according to the news portal Necenzurirano.

The portal obtained confirmation about the police visiting the premises from the NLZOH promotion and marketing department, which could not provide further information as the investigation is ongoing.

The portal says it is not clear whether any other NLOZH official except for Žohar Čretnik has been interviewed by the police.

The newspaper Finance quotes unofficial sources in reporting online that crime investigators have also visited Majbert Pharm, the company picked in December last year to supply test kits used for voluntary mass testing.

The tests were verified by the NLZOH but amid allegations of their not being up to standard the procurement has also been scrutinised by the opposition-led parliamentary inquiry looking into the government's handling of coronavirus outbreak.

In her testimony before the inquiry, Žohar Čretnik said the verification of the tests was based on WHO standards and she denied the allegation the lab sacked a senior microbiologist for speaking out about the tests and the verification being inadequate.

The microbiologist, Metka Paragi, told the inquiry the tests did not meet technical requirements but still did the NLZOH confirm their suitability and recommend for the government to use them.

Similarly, Viktorija Tomič, the head of the Health Ministry's task force for rapid tests, has told the parliamentary inquiry the tests did not meet technical criteria to be used for screening.


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