‘Fake COVID-19 vaccine taking toll on govt’s efforts to curb pandemic’

Hyderabad: Rise in fake COVID-19 vaccines is taking a toll on the Telangana government’s efforts to curb the ongoing pandemic, said principal secretary (IT and industries) Jayesh Ranjan on Thursday. He added that in order to counter it, the state will use blockchain and AI technology to create a barrier against such crimes. 

“Long time multiplier effect of crimes such as counterfeiting, and smuggling is very harmful to the society at large and impacts effective governance,” said Ranjan, while addressing a webinar on ‘Combating counterfeiting and Smuggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond’. It was held by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Ranjan, during the webinar, said that the Telangana government will take countermeasures of protecting the public interest by using blockchain and AI technology to create a “barrier” against such crimes. “It is very unfortunate that some people are trying to take advantage of this pandemic and thinking of counterfeiting and faking the COVID-19 vaccines,” he added.  

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Former Central Bureau of Investigation director Anil Sinha, who also addressed the webinar, emphasized on the need for policies and regulations which disincentivizes such illegal activity. He suggested how a nodal agency comprising of representatives from different government departments will ensure coordinated actions against this menace. Sinha also talked about how counterfiet vaccines impact the economy and how it also endangers lives. 

The webinar, which was held on March 31, was organised by FICCI’s committee against smuggling and counterfeiting activities destroying the economy (CASCADE).

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