The Maharashtra government has asked the Centre to increase the stocks of Molnupiravir and other anti-viral drugs used to treat COVID-19 as the cases increase, state health minister Rajesh Tope said here on Tuesday.
The state has also asked the Union health ministry to bring down the prices of ready-made monoclonal antibodies, he told reporters.
He spoke with central officials earlier in the day, Tope said.
"There are some important drugs (including Molnupiravir) which can be used in the treatment of COVID-19. To ensure that there is no scarcity of such drugs as in the case of Remdesivir (during the second wave), we have asked the centre that there should be good availability of such drugs.
"We have to ensure that such drugs are stocked taking into consideration the rising coronavirus cases," Tope added.
Ready-made monoclonal antibodies are effective but expensive, he noted.
"They cost around Rs 1.20 lakh and this is not at all affordable for everyone. We have demanded that the prices of these readymade antibodies be brought down. We have been told by the union health ministry that they will take some decision on this," Tope said.
The state government has also demanded a standard treatment protocol for COVID-19, he said.
Further, the state also sought approval to provide manpower for non-ICU sections under the National Health Mission.
"In the meeting, the divisional commissioner explained the numbers of the first and second wave. In the first wave 20 lakh people got infected. In the second wave, 40 lakh people got infected. If the third wave comes in February, there is a possibility that 80 lakh people might get infected. In such a situation, human resources in the public health sector are important," Tope said.
He also told ICMR director Balram Bhargav that there should be a clear and scientific definition of lockdown and restrictions, the minister said.
"Bhargav said they will come up with clarification in the next couple of days," Tope said.
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya will give clear instructions on these issues soon, he added.
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