Hyderabad: The Rachakonda and Medipally police arrested three persons, including a pharmacy store owner, on 29 April for illegally selling COVID-19 emergency drugs at higher rates.

On Thursday, the police received credible information that some persons were involved in black marketing Remdesivir (Covifor) at the Srinivasa Medical and General Stores in Boduppal. The cops along with the drug inspector rushed to the place and arrested the three persons who were caught red-handed with Remdesivir injections.

Inquiries revealed that Bestha Ramchander (40) was a lab technician and was acquainted with medical representatives who used to supply him medicines and injections. On Thursday evening, he received a call from Komala Karthik (31) who supplies masks and sanitizers to medical shops. Aithibamula Sreenaiah (41), who runs the Srinivasa Medical and General Store, had asked Karthik to arrange for three Covifor injections and the latter had contacted Ramchander for the same.

Ramchander agreed to sell the injections for Rs. 25,000 per dose. Sreenaiah, in turn, sold them to COVID-19 patients for Rs. 35,000. On Thursday, Karthik was delivering three injections to the pharmacy when the police caught them red-handed.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge in the state, pharmacy owners and others are cashing in on the situation and selling drugs required for COVID-19 treatment at exorbitant rates. On 28 April, the sleuths of the commissioner's task force, east zone team, arrested a Kachiguda pharmacy owner for black marketing COVID-19 antiviral drug Remdesivir. B. Srihari (39) runs a pharmacy store called Suma Pharmacy near Kachiguda. With the help of another accused, Vinay, he was supplying and selling Remdesivir illegally.

On 26 April, the Saroornagar police had arrested three persons, including a staff nurse of Sunrise Hospital, for illegally selling Remdesivir injections at higher rates. The same day, the Malkajgiri police had arrested three men for running a black-market operation and illegally selling oxygen cylinders through an NGO.

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