'Police bust syringe racket in hepatitis probe' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Police bust syringe racket in hepatitis probe'

delhi Updated: Feb 26, 2009 13:26 IST

AFP
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Police arrested the kingpin of a used syringe racket that has been blamed for an outbreak of hepatitis B in which 48 people died, a media report said on Thursday.

Police raided 35 private hospitals and confiscated hundreds of thousands of recycled syringes, according to a news channel.

The head of a private hospital was also arrested.

The alleged mastermind of the racket -- Saijuddin, who goes by one name -- collected the used syringes from private clinics and hospitals and resold them, said the report.

Earlier in the week, police arrested two doctors on accusations of homicide for spreading hepatitis B by injecting patients using contaminated syringes.

According to PTI, most of the infected patients had received treatment from the pair over the last two months.

At least 48 people have died in a hepatitis B outbreak in the town of Modasa in western Gujarat state, and another 154 people have been infected.

Hepatitis B is a virus that is spread through blood and bodily fluids.

PTI reported that the state government had immunised 70,000 people in Modasa and surrounding rural areas and launched a campaign to encourage the use of disposable syringes in hospitals and medical facilities.