Days after Bihar government claimed to have vaccinated over eight crore people in the State, names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and others have come up in the list of those either fully vaccinated or have done RT-PCR tests in Bihar’s Arwal district. Two data operators have been sacked for entering wrong names on the CoWIN portal.
“The fake entries of names have come up in the list of those who were fully vaccinated or have done RT-PCR test for COVID-19 at an Additional Primary Health Centers (APHC) under Karpi police station in Arwal district. Immediately a probe was ordered by the district administration and two data operators were sacked,” a senior State health department official told The Hindu preferring anonymity .
Last week, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey had announced that the State had crossed over eight crore vaccinated people.
Earlier this year, hundreds of fake entries with contact numbers had cropped up in the list of those allegedly tested at Primary Health Centres in Bihar for COVID-19 causing major embarrassment to the State Health Department. Then, too, some data operators were sacked for entering fake names and details.
In Arwal the district administration has sacked data operators Pravin Kumar and Vinay Kumar for glaring irregularities. Apart from the Prime Minister and Bollywood actors, sources in the Health Department said names of over a dozen politicians of both State and Centre were found in the list.
However, Pravin Kumar told a local news channel that they have been working under tremendous pressure to enter the names they were provided.
“We were told to enter names of those in the list provided to us by our manager. We were supposed to make entries into the computer but when the irregularity surfaced, only the two of us are sacked,” said Mr Kumar. His colleague at Sahar Telpa APHC, Vinay Kumar said the two of them were made scapegoats.
Earlier, several people in the State had received text messages informing them that their relatives, including some diseased, had received the second dose of vaccination. Several others, who had received only the first dose, had complained that their names were uploaded on the list of fully vaccinated people on the CoWIN portal.
“Such things happen when the government announces to have administered over 33 lakh vaccine doses in a single day on September 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday. Such glaring irregularities are bound to happen,” said Dr Shakeel, who heads Bihar-based Centre for Health and Resource Management, a civil society organization for providing medical assistance to those in need. Dr. Shakeel had earlier raised serious doubts over numbers of vaccinated people as claimed by the government under its mega Tikaa Abhiyan (vaccination programme) on September 17 as a “case of data manipulation, misuse of resources and mismanagement to beat drums of achievement”.