Police in Peru have arrested nine people allegedly charging Covid-19 patients for hospital beds at a state-run hospital, on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Reynaldo Abia said authorities have also arrested the administrators of Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen public hospital in Lima in a raid, Reuters reported.
Police received a complaint that Covid-19 patients were being charged as high as 82,000 soles ($20,783) for an ICU bed at the hospital.
“This is totally reprehensible,” Health Minister Óscar Ugarte said. “We cannot be negotiating with people’s lives.”
Patients have to go through a long waiting list just to avail one of the 80 ICU beds in the public hospital.
Peru is currently battling a surge in cases, as total infections reached over 2 million with over 195,000 Covid-19 deaths.