Hyderabad: The sleuths of the commissioner's task force, north zone, conducted simultaneous raids in Panjagutta, Banjara Hills, and SR Nagar police station limits on 16 May and arrested seven persons for illegally selling Remdesivir injections in the black market. The police seized 32 Remdesivir injections and seven cell phones from the accused people.

The accused persons were illegally procuring Remdesivir injections of the Hetero Company and selling them to needy customers for anything between Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 35,000 per vial without any valid documents. The antiviral drug is currently in high demand for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Many of the accused work as medical representatives, hospital staff, or pharmacy owners. Sunku Damodar (30) supplies COVID essentials while Putta Ramalingesh (33) is a marketing agent, Busam Girish Kumar (29) is an endoscopy technician at Apollo Hospital in Banjara Hills, and Grandhi Gouri Shankar (60) and his son Harish Kumar (36) runs a medical shop Sree Shiva Medical beside NIMS Hospital. Meanwhile, Potnuru Mukunda Rao (32) also owns a pharmacy store - Sri Sai Manikanta Medical & General store – in Yousufguda while Arakanti Chinna (19) works at Healthwave Rehabilitation Hospital in Khairatabad.

Another accused, Dr. Ganga Raju, a doctor at Helathwave Rehabilitation Hospital, is absconding. Following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, Remdesivir has been in high demand due to which it is not easily available in the market. It does not cost more than Rs. 3,500 per vial depending on the manufacturer.

The accused persons were illegally procuring Remdesivir injections at low prices from known sources or medical staff and selling the same at high prices in the black market. On Sunday, they were trying to deliver the illegally-procured Remdesivir injections when they were apprehended.

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