Kumbh Mela: More than 1 lakh 'fake' COVID test results fudged, probe ordered
After the news report of over one lakh fake Covid test results during Kumbh Mela appeared in the media, the Health Ministry has ordered a probe into the incident. It is said that private labs hired for the job allegedly fudged the details to meet the daily quote of 50,000 tests.
In the latest development in the Kumbh Mela Covid crisis, it has been revealed that over 1 lakh fake Covid tests were conducted.
The scam reportedly came to light after a Punjab resident received a message on his mobile about the test while he was still at home. The information was shared to authorities and an investigation was done.
Meanwhile, reports say that in many instances, one phone number and address was used to register over 50 people and one antigen test kit was shown to have tested 700 samples. In another incident, the same phone number was registered for people in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and 18 other locations across the country.
As per reports, at a news conference, Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was quoted as saying, "We got to know about an incident when a Punjab resident received a message that his COVID test had been conducted in Haridwar, while he was in Punjab. The information was passed onto the State government, which in a proactive manner conducted an inquiry about a week ago and directed senior officials in Haridwar to prepare a detailed report."
The official said that the exact number of fake tests is yet to be known and is expecting a detailed report within a week in this regard. The official also assured of necessary action, including for criminal offense, against those involved in fake Covid tests.
The labs are said to have stooped to a low level of fudging details in order to meet the daily quota of 50,000 tests set by the Uttarakhand High Court, reports claimed attributing this to the Ministry.
According to reports, 9 agencies and 22 private labs were employed for covid test between April 1 to April 30. And most of the employed are data entry operators and students from Rajasthan and in fact have never been to Haridwar during Kumbh Mela.
The investigation by Haridwar District administration into the incident also indicates the misuse of Aadhaar card and phone numbers of the public.
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