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One Lakh Fake Covid Tests Done During Kumbh Mela

Uttarakhand: A probe has revealed that around one lakh reports of Covid-19 tests done during Kumbh Mela were fake. It was found that the private agency engaged by the Uttarakhand government to conduct the test during the mela issued the fake reports.

The Kumbh Mela festival was held from 1-30 April. Around four lakh tests were done of which majority were antigen tests.

The Haridwar district administration ordered an investigation for the fake COVID-19 test reports issued by private laboratories.

During investigation it was found that a single phone number used to register over 50 people, one antigen test kit showing having tested 700 samples among others.

It was found that 200 sample collectors registered with the agency turned out to be students and data entry operators in Rajasthan, who had never been to Haridwar. 

The scam came to light earlier this week after a Punjab-based man received a covid negative report from Haridwar health department, whereas he had not visited Kumbh. He filed a complaint with the Indian Council of Medical Research which soo alerted the state authorities. 

Around 22 private labs and nine agencies were assigned to conduct RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests. Payment to all labs hired has been put on hold due to the ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile, the lockdown in Uttarakhand has been extended till June 22.

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