Peruvian police arrested a 36-year-old man while he was about to carry out rapid tests for COVID-19, using test kits that he had stolen from the health ministry. The man, a Chinese national named Tianxing Zhang worked at the Lima Sur health authority. He was arrested in the Peruvian capital Lima on Sunday.

Tianxing Zhang arrested for conducting illegal coronavirus testing

Tianxing Zhang
Tianxing Zhang (36), Chinese national nabbed while conducting illegal Covid-19 testing Twitter/Luis Morocho Alvia

The Chinese national was arrested from Lima's Brena district, as he was about to take samples from two women at the door of their house, police said. "[He] was proceeding to carry out rapid tests for COVID-19 that he had stolen" from the Lima Sur health authority where he worked, according to the police statement, AFP added. The women had already paid Zhang to carry out the illegal tests.

"When questioned, he acknowledged he was not authorized to carry out the rapid tests and that the Rapid Diagnostic Tests had been stolen from the Directorate of Integrated Health Network of Lima Sur where he had worked", the police said.

Zhang has confessed of stealing two batches of the test kits. For monetary gains, he used them on people who suspected they had coronavirus. At his home, the police found a backpack with 25 COVID-19 tests and other medical supplies.

On Wednesday (April 8), President Martin Vizcarra had announced that the country had received 330,000 rapid test kits and were to be distributed to all parts of the country.

As on Sunday, April 12, the South American country had conducted 45,272 tests, 7,519 of which have come out to be positive. The country has witnessed 193 deaths, as on Monday.

Covid-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus, first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, late in December. The disease quickly spread to the rest of China and the world. On March, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a global pandemic. As on Monday, the world has witnessed 1,853,505 coronavirus cases and 114,257 fatalities.