Vaccination scam feared in Mumbai apartment complex

Copies of certificate received by beneficiaries showing different hospitals.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

At least 390 residents of a tony housing complex in Mumbai’s western suburbs suspect they may have been duped in an alleged COVID-19 vaccination scam. Not only were the names of two reputed hospitals wrongly used as a “partners” in the vaccination camp, many now fear they may not have been vaccinated as the Co-WIN portal shows no record their vaccination.

The incident came to light after two young residents of the Hiranandani Heritage apartment complex in Kandivli west took to Twitter. The Hindu spoke with another resident of the residential complex, who corroborated the events and requested anonymity, citing the building society’s management committee.

Not involved: hospitals

Both the hospitals named — Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital — have denied being involved in the vaccination camp. Mumbai police sources told The Hindu that a probe had been started and some of those who organised the camp had been questioned.

“Our society WhatsApp group informed us that the Kokilaben Hospital was partnering for the vaccination camp on May 30. Every person would be charged ₹1,260. Those who received the jab did not get a confirmation SMS, as is the usual practice. When we inquired, we were told there would be a delay of four to five days,” the resident told The Hindu.

The society paid ₹4.60 lakh in cash to one Mahendra Singh towards the cost of the vaccines, without a receipt.

After a week’s time, some residents received certificates with different dates and names of different hospitals, such as Nanavati Hospital, Lifeline Hospital, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Nesco Covid Care Centre, etc. “When we questioned, we were told that the vaccination was done by one Shivam Hospital in Kandivli. On inquiring, that hospital denied any knowledge of it,” he said.

Some of the certificates received by the residents are showing as valid on the Co-WIN app while others aren’t. The accounts of a few members on Co-WIN display no record of vaccination. None among those vaccinated experienced any side-effects.

The Hindu was not able to reach Umesh Shah, chairman of the apartment’s society, on a call or message.

Dr. Santosh Shetty, executive director and CEO at the Kokilaben Hospital, said his hospital never operated through agents. “We have nothing to do with this vaccination camp. We have informed the police,” he said.

The Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital issued a statement on Tuesday saying they had not conducted any vaccination camp.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 10:48:50 PM |

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