Hyderabad: Amid a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine in Telangana, 50 vials of Covishield kept at District Hospital in Kondapur have gone missing. After it came into light, the hospital authorities lodged a complaint with the Cyberabad police, and a theft case was registered at Gachibowli police station. Those 50 vials would have vaccinated 500 people.

According to the complaint filed by the superintendent of the hospital, Dr. Manchinella Dasaratha, at the Gachibowli police station, on 19 April he asked Dr. Mahesh, the pediatric counselor, to check the Covishield vaccine boxes at the hospital. "Dr. Mahesh checked the boxes and noticed that approximately 50 vials of Covishield were missing," said Dr. Dasaratha.

Dr. Dasaratha checked the hospital CCTV footage as he suspected that a ward boy, E. Anjaiah, who was behaving suspiciously a day ago was behind the theft. They also searched for the missing vaccines, but in vain.

On 20 May, Dr. Dasaratha filed the complaint and the police booked a case against E. Anjaiah under Section 308 (theft in dwelling house) of the IPC.

In another incident, three vials of AMBISOME 50 mg injection were stolen from Virinchi hospital at Banjara Hills. Mallikarjuna Rao, Pharmacy HOD of Virinchi hospitals, in his complaint stated that someone has stolen 3 vials of AMBISOME 50 mg injection on the midnight of May 18 from their central pharmacy located in the second floor of the hospital building.

He stated that during that night, Anand Rao Doreddula, pharmacist, and Akash Ganesh, the guard were doing their duties at Central Pharmacy. Hence their role is suspected behind the theft.

Meanwhile, on 21 May the police questioned the staff of the hospital. The police have said an investigation is on to find the missing vaccines.

Earlier on Friday, In two separate cases, the special operations team of the Rachakonda commissionerate on 21 May arrested four persons, including a staff nurse and a junior doctor, for illegally procuring and selling Amphotericin B Liposome injection (AMFIGHT) used in the treatment of black fungus. Four injections of the same were seized by the police.

The sleuths of the special operation teams Malkajgiri and Bhongir laid traps in Dilsukhnagar and L.B Nagar Ring Road in the limits of Saroornagar and apprehended the four accused. They were selling the drug at exorbitant prices and without any valid documents.

Two of the arrested persons - Gujja Sravan Kumar (33) and Uppali Shailendra Kumar (43) - are medical representatives while Ramavath Ramanjaneyulu (27) is a staff nurse at Star Hospital and Gande Snehith (24) is a junior doctor at Chetana Hospital. Another accused, Shekar who is a pharmacist at Star Hospital, is absconding.

The two medical representatives were selling each vial of the drug for Rs. 50,000 while the other two were selling it for Rs. 33,000 each. The market price of the injection is not more than Rs. 7.858 each.

The four along with the seized material were handed over to the Saroornagar and LB Nagar police stations for further action.

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