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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Covid test data in Bihar district mentions Modi, Shah, Sonia against fake mobile numbers; two suspended

Leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav shared a screenshot, purportedly of the list wherein Modi, Shah, Gandhi and Chopra have been shown to be inoculated thrice.

By: Express News Service | Patna |
Updated: December 8, 2021 3:18:15 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (File)

In a case of fudging of Covid test data, Arwal district in Bihar has shown the likes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, AICC president Sonia Gandhi, former AICC president Rahul Gandhi and actors Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar as having tested negative for Covid in RT-PCR test records dated October 27.

Taking note of the matter, the state Health Department has suspended two data operators for the serious lapse. Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said “the government has brought to book those guilty of data fudge” and alerted senior health officials to keep a watch on Covid test records. “We have taken the Arwal data fudge very seriously and initiated action against those responsible for it. We have asked officials to be watchful against such irregularities,” Pandey added.

In February this year, The Indian Express had exposed massive Covid data fudging that showed wrong names and unrelated mobile phone numbers and even 10 zeroes against the contact number in Jamui, Sheikhoura and Bhagalpur districts. The state government had then suspended nine employees of the health department.

Arwal district’s Covid test data records showed that while the name of Modi had been entered thrice, ‘Amit Shah’ has been shown as having tested twice on October 27. The names of actor Priyanka Chopra and former Bihar Congress president Ram Jatan Sinha have been mentioned six times each on the same day. While the name of actor Akshay Kumar has been mentioned in four instances, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi figure once each on the list. In all instances, the mobile numbers of local or Patna residents have been given.

A health department source said it was quite possible that the phone numbers of those who had gone for Covid vaccination had been used by the data operators. “It amounts to gross negligence on the part of data operators,” the official said.

Leader of Opposition in the state Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said, “Arwal data shows complete disrespect and sense of fearlessness of the system. Covid data fudge could not be checked despite media reports.”

RJD’s Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha had raised the issue of data fudging after a series of reports by The Indian Express in February. The Centre had also sought a report from the Bihar government.

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