Delhi Police has registered no less than 303 cases of hoarding of drugs, oxygen cylinders and vital injections between April 13 and May 5 to tide over the surge in coronavirus disease cases. As many as 144 alleged black marketers have been arrested and 451 vials of Remdesivir injections, 242 oxygen cylinders and 285 oxygen concentrators among other critical medical equipment seized from them.
According to data accessed, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava spoke to his Jharkhand and Bihar counterparts on Wednesday to seek support for raids in certain parts of the state to book medical black marketers. As of now the raids are being carried out.
While Delhi Police has registered 225 cases of cheating against unscrupulous elements over charges, including promise of supply of essential drugs, setting up of fake websites, and has registered another 78 cases of black marketeering and hoarding. Three ambulances have also been seized for overcharging patients upto ₹1 lakh per trip to hospitals. A total of 2,822 medical equipment has been seized during the raid, including Favipiravir tablets, oxygen pumps and flow regulators.
While Delhi Police has launched a major initiative to book black marketers, unscrupulous elements throughout the national capital region, particularly in Noida and Gurugram, have made a killing out of medicines used to treat cased of the Covid-19 virus. For instance, a single vial of Remdesivir has reportedly been sold at ₹2,500 per vial in the black market in Gurugram, while Tocilizumab injection, used to treat critical patients, has been sold between ₹7.5 lakh and ₹10 lakh per injection in the past week.
The black marketeers have made hay out of patients requiring oxygen cylinders, regulators and even basic medicines at a time when the second wave of the pandemic wreaked havoc across the country. The situation in neighbouring Noida is no better with certain unscrupulous elements charging a huge premium in lieu of arranging oxygen beds or ICUs for critical patients.
In Delhi, the maximum number of cases have been registered in the south and west zone with the former making maximum arrests of 35 persons on charhes of cheating, fraud and black marketeering. A number of those arrested have also been charged under relevant sections of the cyber law for allegedly creating a fake website of ministry of health and family welfare to "offer" Covid-19 vaccine at a cost of ₹4,000-6,000 to unsuspecting victims.
Report by Chetali S M
Reported on – 06/05/2021
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