Uttarakhand govt orders FIR against labs in Mahakumbh COVID-19 testing scam

Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India Updated: Jun 17, 2021, 07:03 PM(IST)

A file photo of Kumbh Mela  Photograph:( AFP )

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It was reported that at least 100,000 COVID-19 reports of tests conducted during Kumbh Mela have been found to be fake

The Uttarakhand government has ordered the Haridwar district administration to register an FIR in a Covid testing scam during the Mahakumbh, an official said on Wednesday.

State government spokesperson Subodh Uniyal told ANI that an order has been issued to file a case against labs from Delhi and Haryana, which conducted testing at five places in Haridwar during the Kumbh Mela.

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This action comes days after reports of fake COVID-19 testing during Mahakumbh surfaced. It was reported that at least 1 lakh COVID-19 reports of tests conducted during Kumbh Mela have been found to be fake.

The Maha Kumbh Mela was held from April 1 to 30 this year and was spread over Haridwar district and Rishikesh region, which includes Rishikesh in Dehradun district, Muni ki Reti in Tehri and Swargashram in Pauri.

Earlier on Wednesday, Annop Nautiyal, the Social Development for Community Foundation said: "The COVID-19 test data of Kumbh Mela area and its results were not shared in the public domain, cases, investigations, deaths, recoveries and other information of 13 districts of Uttarakhand were being shared in the state health bulletin In this way, the complete picture of the Kumbh Mela area was never available.

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"He further said that the ongoing investigation in the matter should not only focus on private labs, but should cover all government labs and all agencies, which were working during that time.

Additionally, he said that due to these alleged irregularities in Haridwar, the COVID-19 data of the entire state has come under suspicion.

"A judicial inquiry should be conducted not only by getting the matter investigated by the agencies of the state government. If any lab or officer is found guilty in this case, then penal action should be taken against them as per law," Nautiyal said.

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He further said that after the COVID-19 situation is clear, the Uttarakhand government should issue a white paper on the investigation of coronavirus in the Kumbh Mela.

"If any error is found in the data as a final result of the investigation, the Uttarakhand government should accept these mistakes. It should not hesitate and should not hesitate to change the state figures if needed," he said. 

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