Substandard N-95 Masks: Senior medical officer arrested in Imphal

Dr M Dinesh of the directorate of health services, Manipur, was arrested by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Police, for alleged involvement in procurement of substandard N-95 masks.

A senior medical officer of the directorate of health services, Manipur, has been arrested by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption police on Tuesday for alleged involvement in procurement of substandard N-95 masks.

Dr M Dinesh was arrested in connection with FIR no. 3(4)2020-V&AC PS registered at Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Police Station, Manipur.

“Dr Dinesh, who is also state nodal officer, State Health Society, NHM Manipur played a key role in the procurement of medical protective gears without issuing supply orders from various firms, including N-95 masks allocated to the district hospital, Churachandpur, which were suspected to be of sub-standard quality,” a release issued by SP, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption stated.

It also said that the accused person will be produced in the court of special Judge (P.C. Act), Imphal West on Wednesday for remanding him to police custody for further investigation.

On April 17, a special team of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption police raided the central medical store of the health directorate and seized a total of 1,250 N-95 masks and other medical protective gears meant for combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The raid was conducted a day after mould covered N-95 masks were detected in Churachandpur district hospital among the masks supplied from the store of the directorate.

During the raid, the vigilance team had also seized the substandard N-95 masks supplied to the district hospital for further verification.

Medical superintendent of Churachandpur district hospital, Dr Suii had said that around 200 masks were received by the district hospital. However, most of the masks were old while some of them had mould growing in them, the doctor had said.

First Published:July 8, 2020, 11:44 a.m.

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