One Lakh Fake Tests During Kumbh: No Wonder Uttarakhand Has Extended Lockdown!

Uttarakhand: Residents of this state who have been wondering why their lockdown has been extended till June 22 now have their answer.

A probe has revealed that the private agency engaged by the Uttarakhand government to conduct COVID-19 tests during the Kumbh Mela (held from April 1-30) issued at least one lakh fake reports.

The Haridwar district administration recently ordered an investigation into allegations that fake COVID-19 test reports were issued by private laboratories tasked to conduct tests during the religious gathering.

A single phone number used to register over 50 people, one antigen test kit showing having tested 700 samples, are just some of the irregularities found by the probe, conducted by a committee headed by Chief Development Officer Saurabh Gaharwar.

What is more, around 200 sample collectors registered with the agency turned out to be students and data entry operators or residents of Rajasthan, who had never been to Haridwar. As a rule, a sample collector has to be physically present to collect samples, reported.

“It has been taken into cognizance that wrong data was entered, it’s being investigated. Facts will come out after probe and if wrong data was fed, action will be taken,” Health officer Arun Singh Sengar was quoted as saying.

Haridwar CMO SK Jha said that if any wrong has happened, it will be revealed in the probe, the report added.

Here is what happened

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 labs issued fake reports to meet the daily testing quota of 50,000 tests set by the Uttarakhand High Court during the Kumbh.

As many as 22 private labs and nine agencies were assigned the responsibility of conducting tests —RT-PCR and rapid antigen — during the festival by the district health department. Payment to all labs hired for the purpose has been put on hold for the time being due to the ongoing investigation, further reported.

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