THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : With the state government allowing visitors in tourist places and dine-in at restaurants and bars with the condition that only people who have received both doses of Covid vaccination will get entry, vaccination certificates are being misused widely through impersonation.
Since there is no fool-proof mechanism including the picture of the person to verify the genuineness of the certificates. Those who are yet to be vaccinated or those who disapprove of vaccination can exploit the situation. Recently, some persons expressed their resentment at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture being displayed on the certificates instead of the vaccinated person’s photo. Six days ago, Hindi and Tamil movie actor Siddharth posted a message on his Twitter handle, “Paris cafe.
Waiter wants vaccination proof. I show my certificate from India. He looks at the photo printed on it and says disapprovingly, ‘But this is not you’. ‘Quite right, that’s our Dear Leader’, I say. ‘But Why is HIS photo on YOUR certificate?’ he asks. I have no answer.” Already, many people in the state have started calling fully vaccinated relatives and acquaintances to send their certificates through WhatsApp for going to the tourist places where officials ask for the certificates.
A person shared his recent experience. Renjith (name changed) wanted to go to Ponmudi hill station. He has not even got the first dose. But he badly wanted to go. Hence, he asked his close friend Sreejith (name changed) to send the latter’s certificate on WhatsApp. Renjith then impersonated Sreejith and visited the place after showing the certificate to the police personnel. “Having the picture of the PM in all certificates has proved to be a blessing for a section of people.
None of the police who are deployed at tourist locations will cross-check whether the certificate one shows is original. They take a glance at the soft copy or hard copy.Hence, anyone c a n misuse it for crossing borders, going to tourist places or bars and restaurants. It is yet to be seen if staff of hotels and bars will check whether the customers are vaccinated or not.
Hence, the government should come up with alternatives,” said social activist T P Madhu. Once a person receives the first dose, the government issues a certificate, which carries all basic information like name, age, gender, and also details of vaccination like the vaccine name, date of receiving the first dose and the name of the nurse who gave the shot. The Union government had earlier issued an advisory against posting vaccination certificates online as they carry crucial data.
However, when it comes to identification, the cer t i f icate has i ts own limitations. Thiruvananthapuram Deputy Collector (DM) T K Vineeth t o l d TNIE that they will inform the district collector to look into this issue. “We can impose restrictions by making ID cards like Aadhaar mandatory to crosscheck the details on the certificates. However, it’s not practical in all places. Anyway, the district administration will come up with a solution after discussing it with higher officials,” Vineeth said.
Making ID cards like Aadhaar mandatory will help cross check the details of certificate. Dist administration will come up with a solution after discussing it with higher officials, says T’Puram deputy collector