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Probe needed to see if labs were ICMR-approved before empanellment, says Haridwar DM on Kumbh COVID test scam

ANI | Updated: Jun 17, 2021 22:57 IST

Haridwar (Uttarakhand) [India], June 17 (ANI): In the backdrop of an alleged 'Covid testing scam' surfacing in Uttrakhand during the recent Kumbh Mela, Haridwar District Magistrate on Thursday said investigations should be done to find out if the private laboratories engaged by the state government to conduct tests during the Kumbh Mela had been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) before their empanelment.
"The whole matter (COVID-19 testing scam during Mahakumbh) will also be probed by CO rank level officer. There seems to be a flaw also in the process of empanelling the labs. It should have been probed if they were approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) before their empanellment. But this was not done. This is a matter of investigation," the DM C Ravi Shankar said.
"The matter was being investigated on the district administration level and on Dehradun level as well. In the district-level probe, many inconsistencies have been found in the COVID test reports during Mahakumbh. In this connection, a case has been lodged against Max corporate agency and two private labs," he added.

The officer said that after the preliminary investigation, further probe is underway and it can take up to 10 more days. Other sections will also be added to the case on the basis of the report.
He informed that in the Dehradun-level investigation, it was found that as many as 1 lakh test reports were produced by only one lab which is impossible, adding that discrepancies in data entry have also been found.
Uttrakhand government registered a case against two private labs and Max Corporate Limited agency in this connection.
The state health department lodged an FIR at Nagar Kotwali police station against Max corporate agency, Lalchandani Labs and Nalwa Lab in Nagar Kotwali, according to Senior Superintendent of Police in Haridwar Senthil Avoodai Krishna Raj. (ANI)