The Centre on Wednesday directed the West Bengal government to probe cases of fake Covid-19 vaccination camps being held in the state and submit a report to the Union health ministry within two days.
This development comes just days after TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty alleged that she had fallen prey to a fake vaccination camp soon after which she fell sick.
Chakraborty got a jab at a free Covid-19 inoculation camp held in Kolkata’s Kasba area. Soon after, the MP, alerted cops as she grew suspicious of the camp, resulting in police busting the camp and arresting the man responsible for organising the inoculation drive.
The accused, identified as Debanjan Deb, had set up the free inoculation camp and posed as an IAS officer, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said.
In the backdrop of these developments, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Hari Krishna Dwivedi, Chief Secretary of West Bengal, seeking a factual report on the matter.
Bhushan referred to a letter written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan by Suvendu Adhikari, Leader of Opposition in West Bengal, on June 25 in which attention has been drawn to the instances of Covid-19 vaccination camps being organised allegedly by unauthorised people.
It is also pointed out that in some of these camps, and notably in Kasba locality of Kolkata Municipal area, none of the beneficiaries have received any vaccination certificates generated from Co-WIN, giving rise to apprehensions about the genuineness of these vaccination camps, Bhushan said in his letter.
He said as per the guidelines, all vaccination sessions for Covid-19 have to be organised through the Co-WIN portal and all vaccinations too have to be recorded on Co-WIN.
Also, vaccination certificates are generated from Co-WIN after the vaccination events are successfully recorded by the vaccinators and that, these certificates are then given to the beneficiaries in digital or physical form, he said in the letter.
The Centre has also advised states from time to time that vaccination certificates must be issued to beneficiaries.
"Non-issuance of these certificates therefore does lead to apprehension of 'fake' vaccination camps and also raises doubts on contents of injections delivered in such camps. Such instances, if not promptly enquired into and suitably addressed, may also lead to the possibility of their recurrence," Bhushan said.
"It is requested that the matter may be urgently enquired into and the factual position about the serious allegations raised in the letter referred to above, clarified immediately and that, suitable and strict action may be taken in the matter, if necessary. It is also requested that a factual report on the matter may be sent to this ministry in the next two days," he said.
(With PTI inputs)