First arrest made in Uttarakhand’s Kumbh Mela Covid testing scam

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The first arrest in Uttarakhand’s 2021 Kumbh Mela COVID testing scam case has been made by a special investigation team (SIT).

Circle Officer of Haridwar, Abhay Pratap Singh, informed that the accused Ashish Nalwa, a resident of Haryana, used to provide Covid testing lab with manpower and other equipment and was responsible for feeding data of COVID tests.

Investigations have revealed that the private agency accused of irregularities in COVID-19 tests during the recently concluded Kumbh Mela continued to upload data on the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) portal even after its agreement with the Mela administration concluded.

Uttarakhand government had hired private labs for conducting COVID-19 tests during Maha Kumbh Mela held earlier this year. The government ordered an inquiry against all the private labs doing rapid antigen tests after finding discrepancies in COVID-19 testing data.

Last month, the Uttarakhand government registered a case against two private labs and Max Corporate Limited agency in this connection. According to Senior Superintendent of Police, Haridwar, Senthil Avoodai Krishna Raj, the state health department lodged an FIR at Nagar Kotwali police station against Max corporate agency, Lalchandani Labs, and Nalwa Lab in Nagar Kotwali.

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