At least 12 fake vaccination programmes were carried out in an around the country’s financial hub in Mumbai between May and June, with the organisers charging their victims for the shots.
Over 2500 people were swindled by the scam organised by doctors and medical staff, who allegedly used their hospital access to create fake certificates and syringes.
Mumbai police department official Vishal Thakur said: ‘[The doctors] were using saline water and injecting it.
‘Every fake vaccination camp that they held, they were doing this.
‘We have arrested doctors – they were using a hospital which was producing the fake certificates, vials, syringes.’
India’s Covid deaths relative to infections hit a record high in June, as a second wave of the virus ravaged the country’s health services and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
According to India’s health ministry as of this morning, there have been 30.62 million infections and 403,281 deaths due to Covid.
But some experts believe the actual case and fatality numbers to be far higher and are putting pressure on the authorities to report the numbers accurately.
According to Murad Banaji, a mathematician at Middlesex University, India’s true coronavirus death toll could be closer to 2 million, while scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation say India could only be detecting between 3 and 5 percent of cases due to insufficient testing.
In the case of the fake vaccination scam in Mumbai, Thakur said the police are conducting further investigations into the medical staff behind them, and expected that more arrests would be made.
Police began investigating the scheme when victims of the scam grew suspicious of the legitimacy of their certificates and reported it to the authorities.
Mumbai lawyer Siddharth Chandrashekhar has initiated legal action against the doctors after authorities confirmed last month they had already confirmed 2,000 victims of the scams.
The Bombay High Court said the allegations were ‘really shocking’ and urged local authorities to remain vigilant ‘so that innocent individuals are not duped in future.’