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Aadhaar mandatory for COVID-testing at Ahmedabad’s urban health centres: Report

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the city’s civic body, has made it mandatory for people to submit their Aadhaar details along with an OTP sent to their phone, before they can get walk-in COVID-19 tests at the city’s urban health centres, the Times of India reported. The city’s municipal corporation reportedly claimed that this was being done to get correct addresses and phone numbers of people who were being tested, as 10% to 15% of such persons were found to be providing false information. 

The report said that as soon as a person’s mobile number is added to the system, it generates an OTP, which must be shared, along with Aadhaar details before a test can be done. “We wanted a foolproof patient tracking system and hence introduced the one-time password and Aadhaar card number system. It enables officers to trace the person. In one case, a couple after testing went to Pune but officials were able to locate them in Pune. In another case, a woman who tested positive on the highway was about to board a flight to the US but health workers were able to track her down,” Rajiv Kumar Gupta, who is in charge of handling the pandemic in the city, told the Times of India. 

At the moment, it is unknown if furnishing Aadhaar details is mandatory at private testing labs in the city. We also don’t know what will happen if a person doesn’t have an Aadhaar card. We have reached out to AMC with these questions. 

In July,  the Rajasthan government made it mandatory to add a person’s Aadhaar details in the RT-PCR mobile app, while their sample was collected. While the government had acknowledged that some people — “like small children” —  might not have an Aadhaar, it wasn’t clear what would happen if no one in a family had an Aadhaar card, and if such people can be tested. 

In April, Odisha had made providing Aadhaar details mandatory for migrants returning to the state when the country was witnessing a migrant crisis in April, but later backtracked on the move following pressure from civil society organisations.

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