Over the last few days, people are made to stand in a queue to get the Remdesivir injection at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital. It is a sight not only in Chennai – people are queuing up for their sons, daughters and other family members admitted in various hospitals in other districts of the state too.
“The Centre has not provided the demanded number of Remdesivir doses (to Tamil Nadu) while states like Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have been provided lakhs of doses,” said a senior official.
The Centre on Wednesday last allocated a total of 10 lakh vials of Remdesivir to states and Union territories which have been hit very badly in the second phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Maharashtra, with the maximum number of positive cases has been allocated 2.69 lakh vials of Remdesivir followed by Gujarat which has been allocated 1.63 lakh and Uttar Pradesh with 1.22 lakh vials of the drug.
Delhi, which has been badly hit by the second wave, has been allocated 61,825 vials. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have been allocated 58,881 vials each of Remdesivir.
The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation in March placed an order for 2 lakh doses of Remdesivir. “Though we asked for 2 lakh doses of the injection, we were provided only 59,000 doses. Many think this injection is the only medicine to cure COVID and many doctors, especially in private hospitals, are asking the patients through their relatives to get the injection. This has led to a huge queue at KMC,” said the official.
“We need the support of doctors who are treating COVID patients in various hospitals across the state. Doctors first must know that this injection alone does not cure any patient,” said the official.
The manufacturing capacity of domestic Remdesivir has been ramped up. All support is being extended to manufacturers by the government in this endeavour, said the Health Ministry.
Remdesivir being an investigational therapy drug is given in acute and severe versions of COVID-19 where oxygen support is a must. This allocation pertains to 14 states to which medical oxygen is allocated and five other states where the high volume of supplies are being observed, said the ministry.
States may place their supply orders to manufacturers, if not already done, either by government purchase or distribution channel. In case any state does not require or is unable to fully utilise its allocation before April 30, the same stock will be re-allocated to other states as per their requirement, said the ministry.