New Delhi: As many as 30,000 vials of Tocilizumab, a drug often prescribed by doctors to treat COVID-19 patients, were imported to India within 11 days by the Central government to cater to the increasing demand across the country due to rising cases.
Sources of the Union Chemical and Fertilisers Ministry told ANI that 30,000 vials were imported from April 30 to May 11.
Tocilizumab injection is manufactured by the Roche Company of Switzerland and imported and marketed by Cipla Ltd in India.
They also informed that Tocilizumab injection is primarily used for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients and the monthly import of this injection used to be around 1,700 vials and India is entirely dependent on imports for this drug.
The imported vials have been allocated to states and union territories on the basis of active cases on April 28.
"Once the demand for the Tocilizumab injection increased, the government convinced the Roche company to increase supply to meet the sudden shortage of injection," sources from the ministry told said.
They further informed that the manufacturing company has agreed to supply more to the country according to its need and is in regular contact.
The country has witnessed a massive unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks. In the last 24 hours, 3,43,144 new COVID-19 cases and 3,44,776 recoveries were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry reported on Friday.
The total cases in the country now stand at 2,40,46,809 including 2,00,79,599 recoveries and 2,62,317 deaths. There are currently 37,04,893 active COVID cases.