By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], June 15 (ANI): The Kumbh Mela held in April this year witnessed thousands of devotees taking a dip in the river to mark the "Shahi snan" thereby flouting COVID-19 norms. Upon being questioned on fake COVID reports issued by private labs during Kumbh Mela, the Joint Health secretary of the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that a detailed report on fake COVID tests conducted during Kumbh Mela is expected in a few days.
Reportedly, a private agency engaged by the Uttarakhand government to conduct COVID-19 tests during the Kumbh Mela issued at least 1 lakh fake reports. During the press briefing by the Union Health Ministry held today, Lav Agarwal said, "It was reported that during the Kumbh Mela, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) informed regarding this to State government and State government proactively through its control room called sample collectors. The State government has done a preliminary enquiry and the District Magistrate (DM) Haridwar has made a detailed action report that who is responsible behind this. Almost one week is over".
The Haridwar district administration recently ordered an investigation into allegations that fake COVID-19 test reports were issued by private laboratories during Kumbh Mela. A detailed investigation was ordered after a preliminary investigation 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.
The Union Health Ministry has discussed about it but figures of fake reports are still not confirmed, said Agarwal and further said, "The figure is to be determined at the end of enquiry, but we discussed in detail with state health secretary and he will be submitting a detailed report within next 7-8 days and action will be taken at the state level."
Four days ago, the Uttarakhand government has ordered an inquiry against all the private labs doing rapid antigen tests after discrepancies were found in COVID-19 testing data during Mahakumbh earlier this year. State government spokesperson Subodh Uniyal said that orders have been issued to the Director-General of Health in this regard and all districts have been asked to investigate COVID-19 testing labs properly before making any payment. The government had hired private labs for conducting COVID-19 tests during Mahakumbh. (ANI)
Detailed report on fake COVID test reports during Kumbh Mela expected in few days, says Health Ministry's Lav Aggarwal
ANI | Updated: Jun 15, 2021 21:11 IST
By Shalini Bhardwaj