At a time when the shortage of Remdesivir—an antiviral drug used for the treatment of COVID-19—is creating a lot of difficulties for the health authorities in the state, many are utilising this opportunity to make easy money by selling these injections at an exorbitant rate.
Now, the Surat Crime Branch has nabbed a doctor and three others in the city for allegedly black-marketing Remdesivir injections. The development comes at a time when there is an acute shortage of the jabs in the market, with the governments desperately trying to meet the demand.
The crime branch, acting on a tip-off, nabbed the four people from different areas of the city on Saturday and recovered three vials of the key anti-viral drug from them. An FIR was lodged against the accused at the Lalgate police station under Indian Penal Code Sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), and provisions of the Essential Commodities Act.
Demand for Remdesivir
The demand for the jab which is manufactured by seven pharmaceutical companies has considerably gone up during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc in India. This has forced the Union government to impose a ban on the export of Remdesivir.
Recently, the Gujarat High Court lambasted the state government for its mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in a shortage of hospital beds, oxygen and Remdesivir. While the state government said that there is no shortage of Remdesivir and it has “sufficient” stock of the jab, the court questioned that why people are then not being able to get the injection.
The court also directed the state government to take strict action against those who are selling the injection at an exorbitant price or are black-marketing it. Meanwhile, the Gujarat government in an advisory said that Remdesivir is not a lifesaving drug and there is no scientific evidence in favour of the jab that it can reduce hospital stay. It said that the injection should be administered only in specific situations.
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