Fake vaccination in Mumbai, Kolkata: What health ministry says on this
Over 2,000 people in Mumbai and around 500 people in Kolkata, including Trinamool MP Mimi Chakraborty, fell prey to fake Covid vaccination drives in the past few weeks. In both the case, the beneficiaries raised suspicion after they did not receive any message from Co-Win, the one-stop-shop IT platform for India's vaccination drive. Both the cases are under investigation and it is yet to be found whether what was administered to these people were harmful or not.
In a first official comment, the Union health ministry on Wednesday said these instances are "individual aberration", which could be caught only spotted because of the centralised IT platform Co-Win. "As we have vaccinated over 33 crore people, such instances of individual failure now can be easily spotted the moment you do not receive an SMS from Co-Win. We are in touch with states which are taking action against such scams," Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the Union health ministry said on Tuesday when asked about the vaccination scam in Mumbai and Kolkata.
TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty recovering now after falling prey to fake vaccine camp
Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised strict monitoring of two things, whether there is any adverse impact after vaccination and whether everyone is getting the second dose of the vaccine, Lav Agarwal said, explaining how Co-Win checks all the boxes, apart from alerting people if they have been subject to any scam.
What happened in Mumbai
The residents of a highrise in Mumbai were conned when an event management company got them vaccinated but they were neither registered on Co-Win, neither did they receive their certificates promptly. Several incongruities emerged when they were issued their certificates. Several production companies have been duped like this. According to preliminary reports, the residents were given saline water. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said the government will do antibody tests of everyone who have been apparently conned and then these people will get Covishield depending on what ICMR suggests.
What happened in Kolkata
Debanjan Deb, a 28-year-old man, impersonated as Kolkata Municipal officer and organised two vaccine camps in Kolkata. In one of these vaccine camps, Trinamool MP Mimi Chakraborty was invited. As the MP took the jab but did not receive any SMS, she raised an alarm based on which the entire fake vaccine racket got busted. It is not yet known what was administered to these people in the name of vaccines. An SIT has been set up for investigation and an attempt to murder charge has been slapped on Debanjan Deb. An expert committee has also been formed to find out whether these people will need to take the first dose once again.