Gujarat: Homeopaths procure Remdesivir using ID of a patient, give to another

Based on a complaint filed by Darshak Shah, the son-in-law of the deceased patient, at Neelam Baug police station, the Bhavnagar city police booked Dr Prakash Katariya, a homeopath and owner of Krishna Hospital, and his assistant Dr Hiralben, also a homeopath.




Police booked a doctor and a medical officer of a private hospital in Bhavnagar after they allegedly administered Remdesivir injections procured for a Covid-19 patient to another Covid-19 patient, leading to the death of the former allegedly for want of the medication.

Based on a complaint filed by Darshak Shah, the son-in-law of the deceased patient, at Neelam Baug police station, the Bhavnagar city police booked Dr Prakash Katariya, a homeopath and owner of Krishna Hospital, and his assistant Dr Hiralben, also a homeopath, under IPC Sections 417 (Cheating), 419 (Cheating by personation), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (Punishment for forgery), 467 (Forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using forged document as genuine), 120 (b) (Criminal conspiracy) and 114 (Common intent) on August 10.

In his complaint, Darshak Shah, chairman and managing director of Madhu Silica Private Limited (MSPL), stated that his father-in-law Chandrakant Shah (73) was admitted to Krishna Hospital on Kalubhar Road in Bhavnagar on July 30. Chandrakant tested positive for Covid-19 on August 1 and as per the FIR, his oxygen saturation level started dipping the same day.

After Chandrakant’s condition deteriorated, his wife Hansa requested Dr Katariya to seek help from other specialist doctors. Accordingly, Dr Katariya brought one Dr Jinal Mehta to assess Chandrakant on August 2. Dr Mehta, a chest physician, told

Darshak over the phone that Chandrakant immediately needed to be given two shots of Remdesivir injection. When Chandrakant asked Dr Katariya to administer Remdesvir to his father-in-law, the doctor asked him to purchase it from the market, the FIR stated.

Darshak’s family inquired at leading pharmacy stores in the city, but in vain. “Eventually, when we inquired at the pharmacy of BIMS Hospital, we were told that it had sold six vials of Remdesivir injections on the basis of an Aadhaar card and the Covid-19 report of a patient named Chandrakant, as well as a prescription on Krishna Hospital’s letterhead signed by Dr Amit Patel around 6 pm on August 2,” Darshak stated in his complaint.

After an hour, it was established that none of Chandrakant’s family members had gone to the BIMS Hospital pharmacy to purchase the injection. When Darshak inquired with Dr Katariya about someone having purchased six vials of Remdesivir in his father-in-law’s name, the latter allegedly evaded a direct answer. However, Dr Katariya admitted to Chandrakant’s son, Dharmin, that he purchased six vials of the drug using his father’s papers and that two of them were administered to one Shaym Talreja, another Covid-19 patient at Krishna Hospital. The rest of the doses were with Talreja’s family, the doctor reportedly told Dharmin. Around 1.30 am on August 3, Dr Katariya gave Darshak the address of Talreja’s residence.

Darshak sent one of his family members to Talreja’s home who returned to Krishna Hospital with two vials of injection at 2.15 am on August 3.

However, Chandrakant had succumbed to the viral infection by then, Darshak said. He said the delay of more than two hours in arranging the critical drug led to his father-in-law’s death.

“This is a documentary-evidence based case and therefore, no one has been detained or arrested so far. We have obtained a specimen signature of Dr Patel, an MD working at Krishna Hospital, and will send them to Gandhinagar for forensic analysis to ascertain if the accused forged his signature on prescription on the basis of which the drug was purchased. Why Dr Katariya administered the drug procured for Chandrakant to other patients is a matter of investigation,” VV Odedara, inspector of Local Crime Branch (LCB) of Bhavnagar, who is the investigating officer, told The Indian Express on Thursday.

“On the day the injections were purchased from BIMS Hospital pharmacy, Dr Patel was not present in the hospital,” Odedara added.

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