Top Kumbh Mela official orders probe into Covid-19 testing scam after investigation flags 1 lakh ‘fake’ tests

A ‘Covid-testing scam’ has come to gentle in Uttarakhand with a number of personal labs below the scanner for allegedly conducting pretend Covid-19 tests through the Maha Kumbh Mela held earlier this 12 months.

As per studies, the Uttarakhand authorities has directed the Haridwar district administration to register a case in opposition to personal laboratories engaged by the state authorities to conduct tests through the Kumbh Mela.

Sources within the well being division mentioned they suspect that more than one lakh ‘fake’ test results were issued by private labs. The labs apparently did so to fulfill the day by day testing quota of fifty,000 tests set by the Uttarakhand High Court through the Kumbh, the sources mentioned.

Twenty-two personal labs had been employed for the aim by the district well being division to conduct testing through the competition. An in depth probe was final week ordered by the Haridwar administration after preliminary investigations revealed that many personal labs roped in by the district well being division issued pretend Covid check studies within the title of random individuals on the premise of their identification playing cards and telephone numbers.

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Kumbh Mela official additionally orders probe

A second investigation was on Wednesday ordered by a prime Kumbh Mela into the allegations of faux tests carried out through the Kumbh Mela in April.

Mahakumbh Mela (well being) officer Dr Arjun Singh Sengar constituted an inside committee to probe the allegations of irregularities in opposition to personal labs empanelled by the mela authorities. Dr Arjun Singh Sengar mentioned the Kumbh Mela authorities had empanelled 11 labs from Haridwar, Dehradun, Roorkee and Haryana for conducting tests.

“These labs tested a total of 2,51,457 people were tested by mela authorities. Of these, 2,07,159 were antigen tests while 44,278 were RT-PCR. While more than two lakh antigen tests were done, only 1,023 people tested positive. And 1,250 reports of RT-PCR turned out to be positive. All other test reports were found negative,” Dr Arjun Singh Sengar mentioned.

He added that the inquiry panel has been requested to tally the IDs to probe irregularities. Due motion will probably be taken accordingly as per the suggestions of the committee, the official added.

A preliminary investigation into alleged irregularities was carried out by Chief Controlling Officer of Covid Cases Abhishek Tripathi who then beneficial an in depth probe into the matter.

A committee headed by Chief Development Officer Saurabh Gaharwar was constituted to look into the allegations and submit a report inside 15 days, Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravishankar mentioned on Saturday.

Payment to all labs which had been assigned the accountability of conducting tests — RT-PCR and speedy antigen — through the Kumbh was additionally withheld because of the ongoing investigation, the official added.

When contacted, Haridwar’s Chief Medical Officer, SK Jha, mentioned, “Kumbh area extends up to Rishikesh. Until the probe ordered by the district administration is complete it is difficult to say at what level the alleged irregularities were committed.”

The Kumbh Mela

One of the world’s largest non secular gatherings, the Kumbh was held within the state from April 1 to 30, and the notified Kumbh space coated varied locations in Haridwar, Dehradun and Tehri districts.

Three shahi snans passed off through the occasion on April 12, 14 and 27, the final one being lowered to a largely symbolic occasion.

As per estimates, no less than 70 lakh devotees attended the Maha Kumbh. Despite the huge number of people gathering round Haridwar to take a dip in Ganga, the 2021 occasion was a relatively modest occasion — lowered to at least one month due a pointy surge in Covid infections in Uttarakhand and different components of the nation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had additionally appealed to the seers to have solely symbolic participation within the Kumbh Mela because of the Covid-19 disaster. “I prayed that two ‘shahi snan’ have taken place and Kumbh (participation) should now be kept symbolic. This will boost the fight against this crisis,” the Prime Minister had tweeted.

The “scaling down” was mentioned to be the primary within the historical past of the mela, which is held as soon as each 12 years in Haridwar.

The Kumbh Mela held below the shadow of Covid-19 drew flak from varied quarters because the variety of Covid-19 circumstances noticed a spike.

Read | Panel to probe charges of fake Covid testing by private lab during Kumbh Mela

Also Read | Covid-19 protocol tossed away at Haridwar Kumbh Mela as 31 lakh throng for holy dip

Also Read | Juna Akhada ends participation in Kumbh Mela over Covid-19 concerns

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