There is no doubt about the fact that the Kumbh Mela was a super spreader event. Now, an investigation has found that at least 1 lakh COVID reports that were issued by a private agency engaged by the Uttarakhand government were forged.
This comes days after a preliminary probe. Among other things, fake addresses and phone numbers were used, reported The Times of India.
How Serious Is The Lapse?
In one instance, a single phone number was used to register over 50 people and one antigen test kit (which is used to meant for single use) was shown to have tested 700 samples. Similarly, an official informed that fake addresses, names and phone numbers were provided.
The religious festival of Kumbh Mela was held from April 1 to 30. The Uttarakhand health department had given permission to about 24 private labs to conduct the test. About 4 lakh tests were conducted.
Of the 1 lakh tests conducted by the agency under the scanner, 177 were "COVID positive" — a positivity rate of only 0.18 percent. In contrast, the positivity rate in Haridwar in April went up to 10 percent. About 200 sample collectors employed by the agency were students and data entry operators based out of Rajasthan, who in fact had never been to Haridwar.
Health secretary Amit Negi said the investigation report has been sent to Haridwar district magistrate. Officials have said that this is just the tip of the iceberg.