BHOPAL : Ninety per cent of the Covid-19 patients who were administered fake Remdesivir injections supplied by a Gujarat-based gang have survived their lung infections, investigation by Madhya Pradesh police reveals.
While chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan wants murder cases to be registered against the racketeers arrested in Indore and Jabalpur, holding them accountable for each death, senior police officials are trying to find ways to link mortalities with the duplicate injections without the dead bodies. None of these victims was buried, they say.
“We are not medical experts, but doctors should really look into this,” said an officer. The fake injections contained a simple glucose-salt compound, said police.
“Ten patients in Indore, who were injected fake Remdesivir brought from a Gujarat-based gang, died while more than 100 survived the Covid-19 infection despite being given glucose-salt water. Since their bodies have been cremated, investigating the side effects of the fake drugs is impossible,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
The Centre has told states that Remdesivir may decrease hospitalization time when used in moderate to severe cases, but there is no proven benefit in terms of reduced mortality.
The surge in Covid infections, however, has triggered an all-out clamour for Remdesivir. Even quacks and non-medicos in parts of Madhya Pradesh began ‘prescribing’ it, triggering a mad rush for the injection, and shortage. The scramble for Remdesivir was such that the Gwalior collector had to issue an order asking dentists and non-medicos not to prescribe the injection.
The Gujarat-based gang cashed in on this, say police. The racket was busted in Gujarat on May 1. During interrogation by the Gujarat crime branch, the accused revealed that they had sold around 1,200 fake injections in MP — 700 in Indore and 500 in Jabalpur.
The gang had sourced empty vials from Mumbai, filled them with a glucosesalt compound at a factory in Gujarat’s Vapi region, and simply pasted fake labels.
Indore IG Hari Narayan Chari Mishra said strict action is being taken against all those arrested in the case. “They will not be spared. Our investigation will continue till the last person in the racket is arrested,” Mishra said.
Jabalpur police have not been able to make any significant headway in the case. They have not been able to trace the patients to whom the fake injections were given since the hospital did not maintain records. A case has been registered at Jabalpur’s Omti police station against three suspects — Jarabjeet Singh, Sapan Jain and Devesh — for attempted culpable homicide, adulteration of drugs, sale of adulterated drugs and cheating.