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150 ventilators arrive, Remdesivir shortage to end in 48 hours

July 20, 2020

SRINAGAR:  Sufficient stocks of Remdesivir shots are arriving in the next two days to treat critical COVID 19 patients in Jammu and Kashmir.

 Sources said there is relentless pressure from Raj Bhawan on quick delivery of Remdesivir and Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu is personally monitoring the situation given the surge in the COVID cases in Kashmir.

Financial Commissioner to Jammu and Kashmir government, Health and Medical Education Department Atal Dullo told The Kashmir Monitor that sufficient stocks of Remdesivir medicine are arriving in the next two days in the union territory.

“We are arranging sufficient stocks of Remdesivir. The medicine will be arriving in the next two days. The medicine will be given to critical patients. Stocks will be distributed among those hospitals which house critical patients,” said Dullo.

Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum antiviral medication administered via injection into a vein. According to Wikipedia,  Remdesivir is being tested as a treatment for COVID 19 and has been authorized for emergency use in the US, India Singapore, and approved for use in Japan, the EU, and Australia for people with severe symptoms. 

It was going to be rationed due to limited supply. It may shorten the time it takes to recover from the infection. 

However, the most common side effects in people with COVID‑19 is nausea.  Side effects may include liver inflammation and an infusion-related reaction with nausea, low blood pressure, and sweating.

“If you talk to ICMR, they will tell you that it is in the trial stage. Its 100 percent efficacy has not been proven yet. It depends on the treating doctors who prescribe the medicine. One has to see the side effects and toxicity of the drugs. It is the last resort drug,” said Dullo.

Officials said the drug is very costly and its life span is very short. “Life span of the drug is one to two months. We have to take care of this factor also. We have to procure the quantity carefully so that it does not go waste. It is a very costly medicine,” Dullo said.

Besides Remdesivir, the government has also fast-tracked the procurement of ventilators. “Of the 700 ventilators ordered, 150 have already arrived. The rest will be arriving in the next 10 days. They have been made by Bharat Electronics Limited. Till yesterday, only four people are on the ventilators. But we are keeping the reserves ready,” Dullo said.

Ventilators will be distributed among the district hospitals as well so that anybody in need can be treated at local centers so that unnecessary referrals to Srinagar are avoided. “We have distributed some to district hospital Anantnag. The ventilators will be made available to all the hospitals,” said Dullo.

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