15:59 GMT07 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): With a four-digit spike in daily COVID-19 cases in Delhi, doctors are deploying plasma therapy to decrease the number of deaths. The method has shown encouraging results in improving the condition of severely ill patients during trials. However, the increased use of the therapy has also paved the way for frauds.

    Delhi police on Monday arrested a man accused of duping State Legislative Council Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on the pretext of donating plasma to a COVID-19 positive relative.

    ​The accused, who has been identified as Abdul Karim Rana, is a resident of Uttar Pradesh and posed as a doctor at Delhi's renowned Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital.

    Claiming that he just recovered from COVID-19, Rana would ask people in need of plasma to transfer travel expenses to his account so that he could reach the respective hospitals, but then wouldn't to show up, the police said. According to guidelines, only people who have recovered from COVID-19 can donate plasma to patients.

    In his complaint to the police, the Delhi assembly speaker explained how he fell victim to the scam. He informed police that he got his reference from a WhatsApp group where the accused introduced himself as Rahul Thakur, asking him to deposit INR 450 ($6) into his account for his travel expenses.

    Goel alleged that the accused denied receiving the money through online transfer and later switched off his phone when he offered to pick him up.

    After Goel heard about a similar encounter with his relatives, it came to light that Rana was a serial offender who had duped people who reached out to him for help on social media. Goel filed a police complaint on 20 June.

    An investigation is underway as police try to ascertain the number of people he cheated on the pretext of plasma donation.

    Related:

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    India Dismisses Plasma Therapy as Treatment for COVID-19
    Plasma Therapy Has No Life-Threatening Side Effects, Doctor Says After Indian Gov't Calls It Harmful
    Tags:
    COVID-19, Delhi, India
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