Inquiry into 'fake Covid tests' at India's Kumbh Mela

Sun Online Desk

17th June, 2021 03:45:11 PM printer

Inquiry into 'fake Covid tests' at India's Kumbh Mela


Uttarakhand state in northern India has ordered a police inquiry into allegations of private labs filing fake Covid reports.

Media reports say fake names, mobile numbers and addresses were used in more than 100,000 tests during the Kumbh festival in April.

The private labs were hired by the state to screen visitors for Covid.

Uttarakhand was criticised for holding the festival, which attracted millions of people, during the pandemic.

Unmasked crowds thronged the Kumbh festival in April even as several Indian cities grappled with a severe shortage of oxygen and hospital beds.

The same phone numbers and addresses were used in hundreds of Covid reports.

"Orders have been issued to file a case against labs from Delhi and Haryana, which conducted testing at five places in Haridwar during Kumbh Mela," Subodh Uniyal, Uttarakhand government spokesperson, told ANI news agency.

The Kumbh Mela is the biggest Hindu festival - it draws people from all parts of India and the world. But experts had warned in March that the festival should be cancelled because of an impending second wave. But the government decided to go ahead, allowing people to visit from across the country.