The Union Health Ministry has sought details on fake COVID-19 tests from states, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informed Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The minister made the statement on being asked if the Union government is aware about the fake test rackets that endanger peopleâ€™s lives.
The minister said this in a reply to a question asked by Uttar Pradesh MP Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of the Samajwadi Party, on whether the Union government is aware about â€śseveral private firms being found to be involved in fake COVID-19 tests.â€ť The MP had also sought the details of the states where such fake COVID-19 tests have been reported in 2021, and about the action taken against such culprits.
In the reply, the union minister said that Uttarakhand had reported instances of fake COVID-19 tests. FIRs have been registered against the firms involved, Pawar said. Police investigation against all laboratories involved is underway and they have been debarred from further testing in the state and all payments have been withheld, the minister added. There had been reports earlier about private laboratories conducting nearly over one lakh fake COVID-19 tests during the Kumbh Mela.
Meanwhile, the Union government on Tuesday said that there has been a slowdown in the rate of decline of average daily COVID-19 cases, which is a cause of concern. It also said that there are 54 districts in 12 states and Union Territories, which reported over 10% positivity rate for the week ending July 26. India recorded less than 30,000 fresh COVID-19 cases after 132 days while its active caseload fell below 4 lakh after 124 days on Tuesday, according to health ministry data.
"The average daily new cases declined from 3.87 lakh cases between May 5-11 to 38,090 cases between July 21- 27. In the past few weeks, there has been a slowdown or reduction in the rate of decline, which remains an area of concern," Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, said.
Twenty-two districts in seven states have reported an increasing trend in daily COVID-19 cases for the last four weeks and this is also a cause of concern, the ministry said.