India's health ministry has ordered a probe into Apollo Hospital Delhi, part of largest private hospital chain Apollo Hospitals, after media reports linked it to the illegal sale by Myanmar nationals of their kidneys for organ transplants.

The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), which falls under the health ministry, has asked Delhi Health Secretary S B Deepak Kumar to "get the matter examined, take appropriate action ... and furnish an action-taken report within a week", according to a letter seen by Reuters.

A committee was being formed to probe the matter and details of donors and patients have been sought from the hospital, Kumar told local media. Reuters was unable to reach Kumar.

Apollo Hospitals did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Indraprastha Medical Corp, an associate of Apollo which manages its two hospitals in the capital region of Delhi, said it had initiated an inquiry into the matter and called the allegations against it "absolutely false, ill-informed and misleading".

A report in Britain's Telegraph accused Apollo of being embroiled in a "cash for kidneys" scandal in which young villagers from Myanmar were being flown to its Delhi hospital and enticed to sell their kidneys to rich Burmese patients.

The Myanmar government did not respond to Reuters request for comment.

Chennai-based chain Apollo, which runs over 70 hospitals across India, performed 1,641 solid organ transplants in 2022, according to company data. The hospital also treats foreign patients who fly into India. (Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Rishika Sadam; editing by Miral Fahmy)