COVID-19 Black Marketing: Humanity Shamed, Profits Over Lives

by GoNews Desk 2 years ago Views 4103

COVID 19 Black Marketing Humanity Shamed
The second wave of the Covid pandemic not only cost lives but also hit the common man’s pocket in a big way. One of the most prominent and disheartening aspect of the crisis was black marketing, Amid a healthcare infrastructure in total shambles, people were forced to pay up to 500 times the usual prices for common medicines and other coronavirus-related services.

The community social media platform Localcircles recently conducted a survey which showed that 70% people overpaid for ambulances, 36% for oxygen, 19% for medicines, and 13% for RT-PCR tests.

India registered 16,000 cases of coronavirus infections on March 16th 2021, which spiked 25 times to 4,02,000 in the next 45 days only. This sudden increase was too much for the rickety Indian health system to handle, thereby creating a situation wherein black marketers could profit due to the acute shortage of oxygen concentrators, ambulances, and medicines.

This survey by LocalCircles was carried out in 389 districts of the country covering a atotal of 38,000 people. It states that 36% people paid higher than MRP for corona-related supplies like oxygen concentrators, oximeters, and cylinders, etc.

Within this 36% who were overcharged for supplies and services, 14% paid up to 3 times the cost. A big problem during the peak of the coronavirus crisis was the shortage of oxygen. Patients were charged five times the usual costs even for transportation from one hospital where oxygen had run out to another.

The survey says that 70% people paid excessive costs for ambulances. Around 10% of people even said that they paid 100-500% extra for ambulances, whereas 50% of respondents paid 50% or more of actual costs of ambulances. The survey tells us that the demand for drugs like tocilizumab, remdesivir, AAMD Fabiflu shot up exponentially during this time, resulting In 19% of people paying excessive costs to obtain them. Of these, 10% respondents said that they paid over 10% of the cost of these medicines.

These are supplies on which people depended for their lives after being infected by COVID-19. People had to pay excessive costs just to know whether or not they had been infected. 19% of this survey’s respondents said that they were overcharged for RT-PCR tests in private labs and hospitals.

The figures from the survey reveal the extent to which black marketing had taken hold of crucial, lifesaving goods during the desperate times of the pandemic. Normally, an oximeter is available for ₹300 was sold for up to ₹1500, whereas an oxygen cylinder with a usual cost of ₹33,000 shot up to ₹1,00,000 due to the nefarious activities of black marketers.

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