Police in UP’s Prayagraj have arrested 10 men for allegedly selling blood plasma as platelets to families of dengue patients.
The arrests come in the backdrop of a different case in the city in which a hospital was allegedly passing off sweet lime (mosambi) juice as platelets to a dengue patient who later died. It’s not yet proved if indeed there was juice in the packets; a report is awaited and the “juice” theory is so far just talk on social media, police said.
These 10 men, police said, were taking plasma from blood banks and repackaging them as platelets — both are components of blood but used to treat different ailments, with platelets being high in demand in dengue cases.
“We questioned these men about gangs in Prayagraj possibly passing off juice as platelets, but they said that wasn’t happening — rather, blood plasma is being passed off as platelets,” said the district police chief, Shailesh Pandey.
“Dengue has spread a lot in the recent days, shooting up the demand for platelets. That’s what these men were taking advantage of that and defrauding mostly poor people,” said the officer.
The arrests were made on a tip-off, he said, adding plasma pouches were seized, besides some cash, mobile phones and vehicles.
Mr Pandey also said that 12 persons were arrested a few days ago for allegedly supplying blood in an illegal manner in Prayagraj.
Asked about the case of sealing of a private hospital on Thursday for allegedly transfusing fruit juice instead of blood platelets, he said, “A sample is being sent to a laboratory and a correct picture will emerge only after an examination.”
The hospital was sealed after a video of the alleged incident went viral with the “juice” claim. The patient, Pradeep Pandey, was shifted to another hospital where he died after his condition deteriorated, officials had said.
However, no FIR has been registered at the local police station in connection with the case.
The owner of the private hospital had claimed that the platelets were brought from a different medical facility and the patient developed a reaction after three units were transfused to him.