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Names of Modi, Shah and Priyanka Chopra in List of Fully Vaccinated in Bihar

Two data entry operators sacked for the irregularity alleged to have been pressured to enter the names.
Names of Modi, Shah and Priyanka Chopra in List of Fully Vaccinated in Bihar

Image Courtesy: Telegraph India

A week after Bihar claimed to have vaccinated 8 crore people, the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and actor Priyanka Chopra have cropped up in the list of Indians administered the second dose of vaccine at a health centre 80 km from capital Patna.

According to reports, the three VVIPs were administered the second doses at Karpi’s Additional Primary Health Centre (APHC), in Arwal district, months after several dead people were ‘fully vaccinated’.

The district health department has sacked two data operators for entering the wrong names on the CoWIN portal. However, the data operators alleged to have been forced by the health manager to enter the wrong names on the portal to increase vaccination numbers. “The health manager was pressuring me to enter the names without providing the real data of those vaccinated,” Vinay Kumar, one of the two data operators posted at APHC, in Sahar Telpa, told Newsclick.

Kumar’s colleague Pravin Kumar said, “We were pressured to enter whatever names were provided to us. When the irregularity surfaced, the two of us were sacked,” adding that both of them were made “scapegoats”.

The names of Modi, Shah and Chopra were detected in the wrong list after Bihar health minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mangal Pandey claimed last week that the state has crossed the 8-crore vaccination milestone. The state had completed its ambitious target of vaccinating 6 crore people more than two months before time, he had claimed. In June, the state had launched a fresh vaccination drive with a target of vaccinating 6 crore people by December-end.

Last week, several people in Patna who had only received the first dose complained that their names were uploaded to the list of fully vaccinated on the portal. Subsequently, the health department served a show-cause notice to three COVID-19 centres for uploading the names. Earlier, several families received text messages informing them of their dead relatives receiving the second dose.

Veena Kumari, a civil surgeon in Patna, admitted that the department is probing such irregularities.

The state government’s claim to have administered 33,09,685 vaccine doses in a single day on September 17—when Modi turned 71—under its Maha Tika Abhiyan was questioned by health experts. “This was a clear case of a much-hyped COVID-19 vaccination drive by manipulating data, misusing resources and beating drums. The whole exercise was to keep someone especially happy,” said Dr Shakeel, head, Bihar-based Centre for Health and Resource Management, a civil society organisation that works in the health sector.

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