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Accused held for illegal business of Remdesivir tests Covid positive in custody

Accused Philip Jacob of Kerala tested Covid-19 positive at GMSH-16. The test of the other accused will be conducted on Thursday.

Written by Saurabh Prashar | Chandigarh |
April 22, 2021 3:31:58 am
Chandigarh covid-19 cases, Chandigarh coronavirus cases, illegal business of Remdesivir, Remdesivir stolen, Remdesivir news, indian expressThe development has become a cause of concern for at least one dozen police personnel, including senior officers who interrogated the accused.

One of the accused arrested in connection with the illegal dealing of antiviral Remdesivir injections tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, while two other accused also developed the symptoms during their police custody.

Accused Philip Jacob of Kerala tested Covid-19 positive at GMSH-16. The test of the other accused will be conducted on Thursday.

The development has become a cause of concern for at least one dozen police personnel, including senior officers who interrogated the accused. Probe officer Inspector Hari Om said, “Though the accused were sent in four-day police custody, we have decided to cut short their custody period. The accused who tested positive will be admitted at a local hospital. He complained of chest pain, fever and cough. I have alerted my team members about the development.”

A six-member gang, including the director of a pharmaceutical company, Health Biotech Limited, Gaurav Chawla, was arrested at a five star hotel in Sector 17 last Saturday in connection with the case. The gang was busted by a team headed by SP (Chandigarh) Ketan Bansal. He said, “We are taking the situation very seriously. A Covid-19 positive person cannot be kept in the police lockup. He is being shifted to the hospital after being sent to judicial custody.”

Meanwhile, the Managing Director (MD) of Health Biotech Limited, Parmjit Arora, failed to join the police investigation Wednesday, despite being summoned by the authorities. Sources said that Parmjit Arora refused to accept the summon and he did not even acknowledge it when he was called for appearing before the investigation agency at Operations Cell in Sector 26.

At present, all the five accused Abhishek PV, Philip Jacob Axuiliam Pala and KP Francis from Kerala, Susheel Kumar of Delhi and Parbhat Tyagi of Madhya Pradesh along with Gaurav Chawla are in police custody.

The central government banned the export of Remdesivir on April 11, as there has been a sudden rise in its demand across the nation. Police had a secret information about an illegal deal related to Remdesivir medicine at a Sector 17 hotel Saturday late evening, following which a raid was conducted and the five accused were rounded up. They had revealed about Health Biotech Limited firm in Baddi and the firm’s director Gaurav Chawla was summoned. A raid was conducted at the Baddi-based firm and stock of 3,000 Remdesivir injections was found there.

A case was registered under section 420, 120B IPC and Section 7 of EC Act 1955 and Section 27 of Drugs and Cosmetics act 1940 at PS 17.

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