Mumbai: In a major policy decision amid rising coronavirus cases, the Maharashtra Government has approved the procurement of 12 medicines and kits of Covid-19 communicable diseases worth Rs 633.92 crore under the Communicable Disease Control Programme. Under this programme, medicines and vials include rapid antigen test kits (Rs 295.80 crore), liquid oxygen refilling (Rs 100 crore), Remdesivir vial 100 mg ( Rs 53.30 crore), Favipiravir tablet 200 mg (Rs 22.89 crore), RT-PCR kit (Rs 27.44 crore), RNA extraction kit (Rs 18 crore), N 95 masks (Rs 15.03 crore) and triple-layer masks (Rs 5.20 crore).
The health department under-secretary JS Tadvi in a notification said that there has been a substantial fall in the revenue collection because of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing lockdown. However, the government has made allocation for the procurement of these medicines and equipment in the supplementary demands which were passed by the state legislature in the recently held monsoon session. This has been done in the wake of rising coronavirus cases across the state and burgeoning demand for these medicines and equipment. The Centre has already stopped supply of maks and test kits.
The government has clearly said there should not be duplication in the procurement and it should be done as per the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission. Further, it will be the responsibility of the directorate of health services to see that these medicines and equipment are used well within the stipulated time and will not lie in storages unused.
The government expects that the directorate of health services will first take stock of the availability and later go in for procurement of these medicines and equipment as per the prevailing technical specification. The government also wants that the procurement should not take place at higher rates compared to the market rates.
Further, the directorate of health services will have to strictly conduct pre and post random sample inspection to ensure the procurement of the listed medicines and equipment.