Responding to advertisements placed by the Maharashtra government in leading international publications, Singapore, Bangladesh and Egypt have shown interest in supplying Remdesivir to the state. The state government, struggling to meet the spiralling demand for Remdesivir, had recently floated the advertisements in a desperate bid to procure the life-saving drug for Covid-19 patients.
The response from these three countries came days after the Centre had allocated 26,000 vials of Remdesivir, as against the state’s daily requirement of 50,000 vials. Remdesivir is listed for use in serious Covid-19 patients.
A senior public health department official told The Free Press Journal, “The government has been making all efforts to procure additional Remdesivir vials to tackle the increasing shortage. It has sought the Centre’s permission to import Remdesivir injections.” He said the government had also urged the Centre to allow Remdesivir exporters to sell their stock to Maharashtra. However, the Centre is yet to accept the state’s request.
The official noted that Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Food and Drug Administration Minister Dr Rajendra Shingane had met the seven producers of Remdesivir and urged them to increase their production. “The interest evinced by Singapore, Bangladesh and Egypt is a big positive. The government hopes for the Centre’s approval soon, as it will partially help meet the shortage,” he noted.
Tope said the state’s daily requirement was 50,000 Remdesivir injections, but the Centre’s allocation is 26,000 injections daily. “Earlier, we would get 36,000 injections. Now, the Centre has cut it down to 26,000. The Centre has completely taken over the control of Remdesivir supply and is allocating it to states as per its wishes. This is the situation for the next 10 days, which is very serious, as timely use of the injections to treat co-morbid and serious Covid-19 patients can save lives,” he added.
However, Tope acknowledged that Remdesivir was not a must for every Covid-19 patient and urged people to use it only when required.
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