A case of fake corona testing has come to light during the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. The ED on Friday searched the homes and offices of top officials of five diagnostic firms in connection with money laundering in this case. During this, fake bills, laptops, mobile phones, property papers, and Rs 30.9 lakh in cash were seized. The companies raided by the probe agency include Novus Path Labs, DNA Labs, Max Corporate Services, Dr. Lal Chandani Labs, and Nalwa Laboratories. Searches were conducted in Dehradun, Haridwar, Delhi, Noida, and Hisar. The state government has already paid Rs 3 crore 40 lakh to them.
Uttarakhand Police had lodged a complaint in this case, after which the ED started an investigation. These laboratories were given the contract by the Uttarakhand government to conduct rapid antigen tests and RT-PCR test during the Kumbh Mela. It is alleged that the number of tests he showed was not done. Many names in the list were fake.
The ED said that they used the same mobile number, address, and form for several people. The names of many people were added to it without being tested. There were many of these people who had not even gone to Kumbh. Due to the fake negative testing of these labs, the positivity rate in Haridwar at that time was 0.18%, which was 5.3% in reality.
The scam came to light in June. A message came on the mobile of a person from Punjab to conduct a corona test in Kumbh, even though he had not gone to Haridwar. He lodged a complaint about it. On the activism of ICMR in this matter, the state government started an investigation into the matter. Initially, there was talk of doing more than 1 lakh fake corona testing.
During the Kumbh, there was an increase of 8814% in the speed of receiving corona patients in the state within a month (February 14 to April 14). From February 14 to February 28, only 172 people were found infected in Uttarakhand. Then between April 1 and 15, 15,333 people came under the grip of Corona. Till February, only between 30 and 60 people were found infected here every day. In April, the number rose from 2,000 to 2,500.
The monks and saints of the arena clashed among themselves regarding the increasing cases of Corona. They started accusing each other of spreading corona. Bairagi Akhara alleged that the infection in Kumbh has spread from the Sanyasi Akharas. Mahant Rajendra Das, president of Nirmohi Akhara, blamed Mahant Narendra Giri, president of the Akhara Parishad, for the increasing cases of infection in the Kumbh.
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