UP Prayagraj Police arrested 10 men for allegedly selling blood plasma in the form of platelets to families of dengue fever patients.
The arrests come amid a different case in the city in which a hospital allegedly smuggled soft lime (mosambi) juice in the form of platelets to a dengue fever patient who later died. It is not yet proven if there was indeed juice in the packets; a report is expected and the “juice” theory is so far only talking on social media, police said.
These 10 men, according to police, were taking plasma from blood banks and repackaging it into platelets – both are components of blood but are used to treat different conditions, with platelets in high demand in cases of dengue fever.
“We asked these men about the Prayagraj gangs possibly passing juice off as platelets, but they said that’s not happening – on the contrary, blood plasma is passed off as platelets,” said District Police Chief Shailesh Pandey.
“Dengue fever has spread a lot in the past few days, driving up the demand for platelets. This is what these men were taking advantage of and defrauding especially the poor,” the officer said.
The arrests were made on a tip-off, he said, adding that plasma packets were seized, along with cash, cellphones and vehicles.
Mr Pandey also said 12 people were arrested days ago for allegedly illegally supplying blood to Prayagraj.
Asked about the case of a private hospital closing on Thursday for allegedly transfusing fruit juice instead of blood platelets, he said: “A sample is sent to a lab and a correct picture will only emerge after an examination “.
The hospital has been sealed after a video of the alleged incident went viral with the allegation of ‘juice’. The patient, Pradeep Pandey, was transferred to another hospital where he died after his condition deteriorated, officials said.
An FIR has been registered at the local police station in connection with the case.
The owner of the private hospital claimed the platelets were brought in from another medical facility and the patient developed a reaction after three units were transfused to him.