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Bengaluru: In a perplexing incident, that took place on July 24, a Bengalurean identified as 39-year-old Sajai M, received as many as 16 messages on his phone stating that he had tested negative for COVID-19, despite the fact that he had not taken the test.

He received the first message at 03:55 pm on Saturday. However, the scenario took a different turn as the messages had names of different patients.

Over the next two hours, Sajai received 15 more messages, taking the total to 16 messages stating that he had tested negative for COVID-19. All the messages, showing different names, were received in a number of Sajai that was certainly not made public by him.  Notably, the 16 names included women and were across different age groups.

With time, Sajai understood that the whole thing was nothing else but a technical glitch. "Looks like someone is misusing RT-PCR tests. This must be probed," said Sajai adding that he did take the COVID test but that was in April - prior to a business trip - and for that he had registered through another number. Following the 16 COVID-negative messages, Sajai taking to Twitter, tagged the BBMP to draw the civic body's attention.

Subsequently, on Monday, BBMP discovered that of the 16 reports, at least one each of the SRF IDs were generated in Mysuru and Hubballi. "Two SRF IDs belonged to Bengaluru," said Randeep D, special commissioner, Health, BBMP adding that in these two cases, the phone numbers given by swab collectors while testing was different. "Only the first digits were common. We do not know the actual number which received these messages," added Randeep, reported The Times of India.

Moreover, Randeep stated that apart from the two aforementioned messages, a request has been made to the War Room to verify the remaining messages. Additionally, the War Room must also identify as to why the results pertaining to two SRF IDs from Bengaluru were sent to the wrong number.

According to sources, the mobile numbers that end in certain sequences like 0000 are likely to get such messages. Such a situation needs to be addressed and monitored by the state War Room, said officials.
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