Fresh probe ordered into Covid-19 testing during Mahakumbh

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Fresh probe ordered into Covid-19 testing during Mahakumbh

Haridwar: Authorities have ordered a fresh probe into the sampling, swab collection, Covid-19 testing, and data feeding by two private laboratories during the Mahakumbh in Haridwar after it has come to light that they tabulated wrong data, a health official said on Wednesday. Kumbh Mela health officer Arjun Singh Sengar said he has formed the four-member committee to probe the irregularities by the labs which were tasked to carry out Covid-19 testing during Mahakumbh. “It has come to light that wrong data has been tabulated by some labs. We are probing this matter and due action will be taken accordingly as per the recommendations of the committee. Kumbh Mela Health department had impaneled 11 labs from Haridwar, Dehradun, Roorkee, and Haryana for the Covid-19 testing,” he said.

Officials said the two private labs from Haryana under scrutiny conducted over 100,000 rapid antigen tests during one month of the fair and a majority of them were negative. A separate probe panel set up by the district administration is probing fake Covid-19 tests during Mahakumbh. It was ordered after questions were raised about the low Covid positivity rate beginning April in Haridwar as compared to the rest of the state. The 10-week average test positivity rate in Haridwar was 4%, while the figure for the rest of Uttarakhand was 13.7%.

The panel constituted first questioned health and Kumbh officials on Wednesday.

Chief Development Officer (CDO) SaurabhGeharwar, who is heading the three-member committee formed by the district magistrate, said they are investigating the matter and will submit the report in due time by July 26. “I cannot divulge further on this matter until the probe gets completed and is submitted,” said Geharwar.