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Kumbh Mela 2021
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Uttarakhand Orders FIR Into Fake Covid Tests Scam At Kumbh

Irregularities in reports showed a single phone number was used to register over 50 people and one antigen test kit was shown to have tested 700 samples.

The Haridwar district administration has been directed by the Uttrakhand government to register a case against private laboratories accused of conducting fake Covid tests during the Kumbh Mela. Mainly based in Delhi and Haryana, the private laboratories, were engaged by the state government to conduct tests during the Kumbh Mela, one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, from April 1 to 30.

State government’s spokesperson Subodh Uniyal told ANI: “Uttarakhand government has ordered the Haridwar district administration to register FIR in Covid testing scam during Mahakumbh. Order issued to file case against labs from Delhi and Haryana, which conducted testing at 5 places in Haridwar during Kumbh Mela.”

After allegations were raised that fake COVID-19 test reports were issued by private laboratories tasked to conduct tests during the religious gathering, the Haridwar district administration recently ordered an investigation.

Several irregularities were found in a probe conducted by a committee headed by Chief Development Officer Saurabh Gaharwar, Times Now reported. Irregularities in reports showed a single phone number was used to register over 50 people and one antigen test kit was shown to have tested 700 samples.

Around 200 sample collectors registered with the agency were found out to be students and data entry operators or residents of Rajasthan, who had never visited Haridwar. A sample collector is supposed to be physically available to collect samples.

After preliminary investigations revealed that many private labs roped in by the district health department issued fake COVID test reports in the name of random people on the basis of their identity cards and phone numbers, a detailed investigation was ordered by the administration.

Uttarakhand High Court, during the Kumbh, had set the daily testing quota of 50,000 tests, and the labs apparently issued fake reports to meet the numbers.

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