An Italian faces fraud charges after being caught trying to get COVID-19 vaccine while wearing a fake arm, an act which has however been called “ridiculous” by local authorities.
The man, who is reportedly in his fifties, wanted to obtain a “health pass”, or a COVID-19 certificate, without being vaccinated against COVID-19.
He wore a silicone prosthesis to his vaccination appointment in Biella, a town near Turin in Italy’s northern Piedmont region.
The “health pass” was first introduced in the country in August and became compulsory in the workplace in October.
The man went to his COVID-19 vaccination center, signed a consent form in the presence of a doctor, and raised his shirt sleeve, ready to receive his dose.
However, the health worker responsible for administering his vaccine suspected something was wrong and asked the man to remove his shirt after taking a closer look at the silicone prosthesis.
Filippa Bua told La Repubblica that she “feels offended as a professional”.
“The color of the arm made me suspicious so I asked the man to uncover the rest of his left arm. It was well done but it was not the same color.”
The man allegedly told him after taking off his shirt: “Would you have imagined that I would have such a physique?” “
“At first I thought I had made a mistake, that it was a patient with an artificial arm,” the health worker told La Stampa, claiming that the mam’s veins were not visible.
Reaction of the authorities
In a joint statement, Alberto Cirio, president of Piedmont, and Luigi Icardi, regional health adviser, said the man “should now face justice”.
“The speed and skill of the health worker ruined this person’s plans,” read the statement
“The case borders on the ridiculous, if it were not for the fact that we are talking about a gesture of enormous gravity,” added the officials.
The actions of the man were “unacceptable amid the sacrifice that our entire community paid during the pandemic, in terms of human lives, social and economic cost,” they insisted.
The incident comes as many countries apply tougher COVID-19 restrictions amid the surge in the spread of the infectious disease and its variants.
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Source: New Agencies