BMC braces for Covid impact, to order 1.5L Remdesivir vials

Amid rising Covid-19 cases across the city which has led to a second wave, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now decided to place an order for 1.5 lakh vials of Remdesivir which has been used as the life-saving drugs in treating serious Covid-19 patients. Officials said they are gearing up to handle the worst situation due to which they want all the facilities or medicine in place to avoid any last-minute hassle.

This comes after the city reported more than 50,000 cases in the last 15 days with a positivity rate of more than a 10%. According to the civic data, there are 70,000 dosages in stock for treating critical corona patients. Meanwhile, they have also received the first batch of 40,000 dosages of Remdesivir and another 30,000 dosages will be available in the next two-three days.

Remdesivir, an antiviral drug with a proven record of efficacy against Covid-19, has been widely used across the world. In Mumbai, it has been made available to some critical patients -- mostly people with deep pockets and influence -- on compassionate grounds, though the drug regulator cleared it only for “restricted emergency use”

Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, said so far there is no shortage of any medicines that have been used for treating corona patients. They have placed orders in advance so that there should be no last-minute decision in procuring medicines that are likely to be used as cases are increasing daily across the city. “We have floated a tender for procuring 1.5 lakh vials of Remdesivir which is likely to be approved in the next two days and from next week we will start receiving the dosages. Moreover, we have enough stock of Remdesivir to treat serious or moderately ill Covid patients,” he said.

At present, the clinical management protocol for Covid-19 in India recommends the use of Remdesivir as an investigational therapy and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as an off-label repurposed therapy for treatment. “We have discussed Remdesivir’s effectiveness and use. It has come to light that if given to the right patients at the right time with the right dosage, it is effective. Remdesivir is advantageous if given between the 3rd and 9th days,” said a state Covid-19 task force member.

Dr. Ramesh Bharmal, dean, BYL Nair Hospital and medical director of the civic-run hospitals said since the pandemic started they have treated many patients which have been administered with the Remdesivir which is an anti-viral drug, and have received a positive response from the patients as it helps them to recover soon if given timely treatment. “More people survive only after Remdesivir injections are given timely. It is only given when the patient is Covid-19 confirmed and their blood oxygen saturation level is below 94 per cent. Moreover, it should be used within four to five days of developing symptoms. If used after 10 to 20 days, it has little effect,” he said.

Moreover, doctors in the city are relying heavily on these three promising drugs which are helping save the lives of thousands. So far 80% of Covid-19 patients treated with Tocilizumab and Remdesivir in a major tertiary-care civic and private-run hospital have survived.

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