Ayurvedic Doctor, 3 ward boys arrested for allegedly stealing, black marketing Remdesivir
Nagpur: An Ayurvedic doctor and three hospital ward boys have been arrested for allegedly stealing Remdesivir injections from dead COVID-19 patients in order to sell them in the black market, Nagpur Deputy Commissioner of Police V Neelotpal said on Friday.
The four work in different hospitals and 15 vials of the injection, in high demand amid a spike in coronavirus cases, have been seized from them, he said PTI.
'When a patient used to die, they would enter the room in PPE kits, steal Remdesivir injections lying unused around and then sell each vial for as much as Rs 5,000. A ward boy was also supplying them these injections for Rs 3,500 and the accused were selling it for Rs 16,000. They have been doing this for the past 10 days, we have found out. Another doctor and ward boy are also on the radar in this case,' he added.
Neelotpal told The Indian Express, elaborating on how the accused sourced the injections, that "They stole it from the nurse's table adjacent to the bed of a patient who had died. So far, we haven't got anything on whether any pharmacist was involved in the supply of the injection."
Officials stated that the four were held after Nagpur police commissioner Amitesh Kumar received a tip-off about this racket. Kumar told The Indian Express that this was the first instance of a doctor being arrested for the black marketing of Remdesivir.
He added that the four accused were providing their services at different areas in the city. "We received information about their involvement in remdesivir black marketing, so we deployed a policeman as a decoy customer. Rs 16,000 was negotiated as the price for one injection for which the doctor called the policeman, who was disguised as a customer, to a place in the satellite town of Kamptee. Police nabbed Sahu as soon as the injection and money changed hands," said Kumar, adding, "we have sized 15 injections from them."
The four were remanded in police custody till April 28, the DCP informed, and identified the accused as a doctor, and ward boys Shubham Mohdure, Kunal Kohale and Sumit Banged.
The injection was reportedly being sold as high a price as Rs 25,000 per vial. Kumar issued a warning against those involved in the black marketing of the injection.