85 pc seized Remdesivir injections suspected to be fake: Cops

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Indore, May 19 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh police suspect that 85 per cent of the Remdesivir injections recovered from people accused of black-marketing during the second wave of COVID-19 were fake, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Possibly, they were made using salt and glucose, he said.

Demand for Remdesivir, a key anti-viral drug used to treat COVID-19, surged following a dramatic spike in cases during the second wave of the infection.

We have arrested 57 accused in 21 cases and recovered from their possession 473 Remdesivir injections. Among them, 400 vials (around 85 pc) are suspected to be fake and possibly made by a Gujarat-based inter-state gang using salt and glucose, Additional Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) Guruprasad Parashar told PTI.

He said cops have sent samples from these vials to a Bhopal-based laboratory for examination and a report is awaited.

The company whose name is mentioned on seized Remdesivir packages does not manufacture the anti-viral drug, Parashar said, but did not reveal the identity of the firm.

He said of the 57 people arrested for illegally selling genuine and counterfeit Remdesivir injections, 32 were booked under the stringent National Security Act (under which securing bail is difficult) and sent to jail.

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police (East) Ashutosh Bagri informed that among the accused, 11 people from Indore were involved in selling counterfeit Remdesivir injections.

The role of six others, arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) from the city, in the matter is being probed, he said.

Bagri said that family members of three COVID-19 patients have complained that their relative died after being administered fake Remdesivir injections.

Another police official said accused Sunil Mishra, who is associated with the Gujarat gang, has sold at least 1,200 counterfeit Remdesivir injections in Indore, Jabalpur and other cities of Madhya Pradesh.

Mishra, a resident of Indore, was arrested by the Gujarat police along with some other accused in the beginning of the month, he said. PTI HWP MAS RSY RSY

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