U’khand govt files case against two labs, one company for Maha Kumbh COVID test scam

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Uttrakhand government on Thursday registered a case against two private labs and Max Corporate Limited agency in connection with an alleged COVID-19 testing scam during the Maha Kumbh Mela, which came to light recently.

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 the Senior Superintendent of Police in Haridwar Senthil Avoodai Krishna Raj.

“Based on a written order by the district magistrate C Ravi Shankar through the Chief Medical Officer’s office, we have registered a case against Max Corporate Limited, Nalwa Labs, Dr. Lalchandani Labs at Nagar Kotwali. Now further necessary proceeding is underway,” the SSP, Haridwar said.

“It is stated in the order that there was an inconsistency in the COVID tests done during Maha Kumbh. There are test reports in the name of persons who did not even participate in the Mela,” he added.

Earlier, the Haridwar district magistrate ordered district Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Sambhu Kumar Jha to get a case registered against Max Corporate Limited, Nalwa Labs, Dr. Lalchandani Labs in this connection.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said, “This matter is from the time before I took charge as the CM. As soon as I took charge, I ordered an inquiry into it. A probe is underway, strict action will be taken against those found guilty.”

Tirath Singh Rawat was appointed as the Uttarakhand CM before the Maha Kumbh in place of former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Earlier on Wednesday, Anoop Nautiyal, founder of 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.”

On June 15, upon being questioned on the issue, the Joint Health secretary of the Union Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, said that a detailed report on fake COVID tests conducted during Kumbh Mela is expected in a few days.

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