The Haridwar district administration ordered a probe after reports emerged that over one lakh fake tests were conducted during the religious gatherings. According to reports, the labs apparently did so to meet the daily testing quota of 50,000 tests set by Uttarakhand High Court.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered in the city of Haridwar for a ritual bath in the Ganges River between April 1 and April 30, amid a massive surge in coronavirus cases during the second wave. The violation of Covid-19 protocols at the gathering had attracted attention from across the world. However, state authorities, including the then chief minister, had tried to downplay the risks.
“We got to know about an incident when a Punjab resident received a message that his Covid-19 test had been conducted in Haridwar, while he was in Punjab,” Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said at a briefing, according to The Hindu. “The information was passed on to the state government, which in a pro-active manner conducted an inquiry and about a week ago directed senior officials in Haridwar to prepare a detailed report.’’