The Covid-19 digital portal launched by the West Bengal government has come under the scanner of the Union government, following allegations of irregularities raised by the Leader of the Opposition (LdP) of the Legislative Assembly of State.
Senior health officials in the Mamata Banerjee administration, however, said the ‘Benvax’ portal is integrated with the centre’s CoWIN app, which forms the backbone of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
“LOP, WB Assembly Sh @SuvenduWB Ji traveled to Delhi yesterday to discuss the repercussions of an alternative digital platform, not authorized by the GoI, which would be used in WB to carry out #VaccinationDrive. The case is under investigation, ”tweeted Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday evening.
The tweet came a day after BJP lawmaker Suvendu Adhikari sent a letter to Vardhan alleging that in some West Bengal vaccination camps CoWin registration was not sought and people were receiving vaccination certificates with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s photo via Benvax. portal.
“Such a move will fuel mistrust of #VaccinationDrive, not to mention the difficulties people may face in verifying the authenticity of the inoculation,” Vardhan tweeted.
Senior health officials from the state health department, however, dismissed the accusations and clarified that the Benvax portal was integrated with the real-time CoWin app, with a few additional features.
“Benvax, of which an initiative of the government of West Bengal is integrated in real time with the CoWIN of the center. The certificate of vaccination from Benvax is only obtained after registering with CoWIN. The recipient receives all SMS and certificates from CoWIN. Benvax gives them an additional certificate with the photo of the chief minister and has additional features such as sending SMS for the second dose after importing data from CoWIN and also allows certain groups to be identified like super spreaders ” a senior state health department official said. .
While the certificate uploaded from CoWIN features a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the certificate uploaded from Benvax features a photo of CM Mamata Banerjee.
Meanwhile, the Center has asked the West Bengal government to file a report by Thursday at the fake Covid-19 vaccination camps dismantled by Kolkata police last week, even as Calcutta’s high court ordered the state to file an affidavit on it by Friday.