DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand government has ordered an inquiry after discrepancies were found in Covid-19 testing data during Mahakumbh earlier this year.
At least one lakh samples of rapid antigen tests done by a private lab could have been forged, said state health department officials. A preliminary inquiry revealed discrepancies data regarding collection of samples and sending bills to the government.
An official, who was part of the inquiry, said fake entries were made by the lab. This has been reported to higher officials in the government. A resident of Haridwar, who had not given his sample, received a text message stating that his RT-PCR test had been done. He filed a complaint with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The ICMR intimated the government. That is how this was revealed.
The government had hired nine private labs for testing during Mahakumbh. The deal was Rs 354 per test. Till date, over 15.29 lakh tests have been conducted in Haridwar district. Most of these were during the Mahakumbh.
Despite repeated calls.and messages, Health Secretary Amit Negi and District Magistrate of Haridwar, C Ravishankar, were not reachable for a comment on the matter.
Earlier, in a hearing on May 20, the Uttarakhand High Court commenting on Mahakumbh and Char Dham Yatra had said the state was causing embarrassment to its own people and questioned why could it not learn from its mistakes.