Updated: April 19, 2021 9:59:12 pm
A staff nurse working at a private hospital in Karnataka’s Mysuru was arrested on Monday for allegedly refilling cheap antibiotic medicines or saline solution in empty vials of Remdesivir for sale to needy patients.
According to Mysuru police, the accused has been identified as Girish. After a preliminary investigation, the police confirmed that they seized 41 fake Remdesivir injections and cash amounting to Rs 2.82 lakh.
Remdesivir is in high demand across the state and the country as it is used as an emergency measure to treat critically ill Covid patients. The police said Girish took advantage of the situation as he was aware of the same as a person working in the healthcare sector.
“Girish sourced empty vials of the Remdesivir injection with the help of his contacts. He then filled it with either Ceftriaxone (an antibiotic drug) or saline solution. The sale took place with the help of two medical representatives (namely Prashanth and Manjunath) after repackaging was done,” Mysuru City Police Commissioner Chandragupta said.
The fraud was discovered during a raid conducted by Central Crime Branch officers to keep track of illegal hoarding of Remdesivir in the city. The police added that they got information that Girish was among those who sold the injection in the black market at inflated prices.
Another official from the investigating team probing the case said over 900 such fake Remdesivir vials were sold till Monday. “We are looking into details on who has bought them. Meanwhile, it has been found that Shivappa, who works as a security guard at a private hospital, and Mangala, who is part of the housekeeping team at a private Covid care centre, had also helped the accused in carrying out the sale,” the officer explained.
The police added that further investigation was underway based on a case filed at Nazarbad police station, which is the jurisdictional police station of the area in which Girish resides. “The FIR has filed under sections 276 (sale of drug as a different drug or preparation), 420 (cheating), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940,” cops said.
Earlier on Sunday, the Central Crime Branch had arrested three people in Bengaluru for their alleged involvement in stocking and selling Remdesivir. The police had found that the accused, including a duo who runs a medical store in the city, was selling it at Rs 10,500, which is much higher than its original MRP.
These developments a week after Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he had been informed that some people were stocking Remdesivir, thereby creating a higher demand to sell the drug at inflated prices. “Such allegations are being looked into seriously. Stringent action will be taken against those involved in these activities,” Bommai had said.
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