Sicilian health chief probed over ‘altered’ COVID data

(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 30 – Carabinieri police put a number of
people under house arrest and Sicilian Health Chief Ruggero
Razza has been placed under investigation over allegations the
COVID-19 figures the region sent to the national authorities
were altered, sources said on Tuesday.
    The people put under house arrest worked for the DASOE unit of
the Sicilian health department, the sources said.
    They allegedly changed the number of new COVID cases and the
number of tests done in data sent to the Higher Health Institute
(ISS) as part of a “heinous political design” to stop Sicily
being classed as a high-risk red zone and put into lockdown.
    Investigators suspect that Razza was “partially involved in the
criminal activities of the DASOE” unit, the sources said.
    They said telephones belonging to Razza had been seized.
    The investigation stemmed the discovery of falsified data from
one laboratory.
    According to a wiretap, on one occasion Razza told an official
to “spread out a little” some coronavirus-related deaths that
had emerged from three days earlier.
    Sicilian Governor Nello Musumeci stood by Razza and said he was
surprised by the case, given that Sicily had asked to be
declared a red zone even when its COVID data would have allowed
it to remain an orange zone.
    “I have faith in Ruggero Razza… I am convinced that the truth
will come out soon,” Musumeci told La7 television.
    “What prize would we have won, when we were the first to ask for
more restrictive measures? “I personally asked the national government for two weeks of red
zone, along with Razza, when the whole of Italy was doing
everything possible to stay an orange zone.
    “That is why I am relaxed”. (ANSA).
   

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