The Indian police on Friday said that more than 2,000 people in Mumbai had been given fake COVID-19 vaccinations in unauthorised camps organised by fraudsters.
Vishwas Nangre Patil, Mumbai joint commissioner of police, said the scam came to light after residents of a housing complex in north Mumbai lodged a complaint.
He said that after not a single one of around 300 of them developed post-inoculation symptoms, such as fever, after going to a vaccination camp on June 17 that was organised by a private hospital.
“Preliminary investigations indicated they had most likely been injected with saline solution in place of the Covishield vaccine,
“A similar complaint came in from a film producer who said the same hospital had organised two vaccination camps for his employees and they had not received certificates.
“We have arrested 10 people including the couple who owned the hospital and have recovered 1.24 million rupees (about 16,700 dollars,” Patil said.
He said the the hospital owners have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Patil said that several of those arrested were involved in at least eight other camps across Maharashtra state and a special investigation team of police has been set up to look into it.
“Under India’s vaccination programme, 25 per cent of vaccine doses produced every month can be procured and distributed by privately-run hospitals while the rest is managed by the government,” he added.
He said that India is emerging from a deadly second wave of the pandemic and wants to speed up vaccinations which currently cover just four per cent of the adult population with both doses and around 18 per cent with one dose. (dpa/NAN)