Police and prosecutors said Thursday that nine persons, including public hospital employees, were arrested in Peru on suspicion of “selling Covid ICU beds” intensive care beds to desperate coronavirus patients for thousands of dollars each.
The nine, who included the administrators of a patient care non-profit, were arrested on Wednesday and went on trial the next day.
According to Prosecutor Reynaldo Abia, an investigation was launched received a report from a woman that had a family member with Covid-19 who paid for a room for them.
The group allegedly demanded 82,000 soles (about $20,500) from her in order to move her loved one up the waiting list for a critical care bed at Lima’s Guillermo Almenara hospital.
Peru was severely impacted by the coronavirus epidemic, which left its hospitals under significant strain and oxygen supply running low earlier this year.
The UK had a high 15,547 coronavirus care in a hospital at one time in April, which has now dropped to around 7,000.
Peru has the greatest coronavirus mortality rate in the world, with over two million infections and nearly 200,000 deaths.
“It is abhorrent that someone would trade ICU beds. “I believe the punishment should be severe,” Health Minister Oscar Ugarte stated.