Maha Kumbh fake COVID-19 test scam: Action will be taken against private labs found guilty, says Uttarakhand govt

Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government on Wednesday said that strict action will be taken against the private labs accused of conducting fake COVID-19 tests during the Kumbh Mela that was held in the state between April 1 and 30.

“Action will be taken on the basis of the report of the Haridwar District Magistrate,” the Uttarakhand Health Secretary was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, the officer who was appointed as the Mela Officer Health in Kumbh, said in his reply to the Health Directorate that the decision to select the lab to conduct Rapid Antigen Test during Haridwar Maha Kumbh was taken on the instructions of the Health Secretary.

It may be recalled that the Uttarakhand government had recently ordered the Haridwar district administration to file an FIR against some private labs accused of conducting fake COVID-19 tests during the Kumbh Mela.

The preliminary investigation conducted by the Uttarakhand Health Department has found out that at least one lakh coronavirus test results issued by private labs during the Kumbh Mela may have been fake.

According to media reports, more than 4,00,000 OVID-19 tests conducted during Kumbh were allegedly fake. A private firm, Max Corporate Service, Nalwa Laboratories Private Limited of Hisar, and Delhi-based Dr Lalchandani Lab have been reportedly accused of issuing fake negative test reports.

A complaint had been lodged on behalf of Haridwar chief medical officer Shambhu Kumar Jha against these private labs under the Epidemic Diseases and the Disaster Management Acts besides Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.

The matter came to light after a man complained to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that he received a message on his mobile phone about his test report coming negative at the Kumbh even though he had not given a sample for it.

(With Agency Inputs)

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